Jose Mourinho is expected to be unveiled as boss of Manchester United in the New Year

Jose Mourinho faces a battle to restore morale at Manchester United and keep faith with his players following a disappointing start to life at Old Trafford.

United were beaten 3-1 by Brighton in their opening Premier League game and then followed that with two consecutive defeats, including a 0-0 draw against Tottenham.

Read More: Manchester United face Spurs tie in order to ‘show strength’ of character

Mourinho’s men travel to Premier League champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, but now he must wage a bigger battle than ever to restore the squad’s confidence.

After losing 1-0 at home to a resurgent Spurs on Wednesday night, the Portuguese is likely to offer little more than a welcome sight of United’s title rivals – which certainly showed the importance of Tuesday’s game.

It’s even harder to contemplate losing on their way to securing a Europa League place and shaping up for their first league match without Mourinho to defend since a 4-0 defeat to neighbours City in September.

Manchester United v Brighton: Preview of the Premier League game

United’s showdown with Chelsea was always going to be their toughest one of the season, following their first two losses, but the 2017-18 version of the club – 10th in the table and two points out of the top four – is not an unworthy result.

There is an old adage about Tottenham, and you could wager that this match will never be played on a Thursday evening.

The northern club’s DNA is one of brave away from home but still can’t disguise its inferiority complex, with their fans looking every bit the part of the screaming losers and group of dispirited cynics.

They have played with spirit and conviction, to be sure, but they have not yet owned the Emirates turf.