Manchester United must qualify for the Champions League next season, says Mourinho.
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss, who said he feels like he is "at home" at Old Trafford, has made a good start at United despite their 2-1 defeat to rivals Manchester City over the weekend.
However, speaking ahead of their Europa League campaign against Feyenoord this Thursday, the Portuguese said the Red Devils have to seal a Champions League spot this season.
He said as the Mirror reported: "The Champions League without Manchester United is not the Champions League and Manchester United without the Champions League is not Manchester United. So this is the first big step.
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"But to get back to the Champions League we need to do well in the Premier League, so the first step is to recover the self-esteem, which I think we are doing."
In an interview with Goal.com Mourinho explained how he rang Pogba daily and sent him "lots" of texts to make a return to United.
He explained: "Oh! It was hard to convince him. I had many [conversations] on the phone, lots of SMS.
"I think he was getting one in the morning from the manager from another big club and one in the afternoon from myself. I had to try hard to convince him to choose us instead of the other one."