"I think we're 10th after the games today and that's where we see ourselves".
Mourinho later said it had been the kind of game in which the absent Marouane Fellaini's physicality was needed - a suggestion that rankled with Hughes. "I'm happy that we are still there, and we'll continue to work hard to stay there until the end of the season".
Matic helped Chelsea to win the Premier League title under Mourinho's guidance in 2015 and the pair are now re-united at Old Trafford after the Serbian midfielder arrived in a £40 million move this summer.
United's focus now turns to Tuesday's Champions League opener against Basle, whereas Stoke have time to work ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Newcastle.
"He has the potential to be fighting for a position, opportunities and to be a Manchester United player".
United have struggled to replicate the success that saw them become the major force in the Premier League under Alex Ferguson, who guided the club to the last of their 20 top-flight titles four years ago.
Kirk Cousins, passing attack let Redskins down in opener
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However, it is not outlandish considering the key role a world-class defensive midfielder plays in any good Mourinho side.
"That was quite an empty period in the club with no evolution in areas that are important".
"Today, we have better working conditions, a better medical department, a better analysis department, a better scouting department, a better media department, and in many cases we did it without changing the people, which is quite important".
Mourinho recalled a story from his time at Chelsea, when he subbed Matic off after having brought him on as a sub in the first place, as he added: "He has with me something which marks forever, which was a match where he was on the bench, I play him minute 45 and I took him off minute 70, 75".
The Serbian global played under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge and it was the latter, who re-signed the midfielder for Chelsea in January 2014.
Mourinho was sacked just weeks after that match, but insisted there was never any ill feelings between him and Matic.
So I know that the big man is there, even with more maturity.