Jose Mourinho has said the outcome of the Europa League final should not decide whether his first season at Manchester United is judged to have been a success or failure.
However, Mourinho said he realised the media, and some United supporters, may see it that way.
The manager could win his third trophy as United boss, to go with the Community Shield and the EFL Cup, when his team meet Ajax in Stockholm on May 24.
A place in next season’s Champions League will also be on the line — something that was considered a minimum requirement when Mourinho took over from Louis van Gaal in the summer.
The former Chelsea manager accepts he will have to face criticism if things do not go to plan in the Friends Arena.
But he believes executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and owners the Glazer family will still view the campaign as a success even if United fail to beat Ajax.
“I think by you media, I think you have the right to say it,” Mourinho told a news conference. “And I think it makes sense to say it.
“But I don’t feel like that. I don’t think the board feels like that. Because we work very hard. We work very hard.
“I probably work, this season, harder than ever. When I analyse, I don’t think that way. But if I was in your chair, maybe.
“We won a League Cup. We won a Community Shield. Before the injuries arrived, we fought for the Premier League top four.
“We did things in this club that nobody did in the first season, like winning a trophy, like having the unbeaten record of Manchester United in the Premier League, like reaching a European final.
“We have these things. But if I was on your side and you are always looking for these kinds of capital letters, big headlines, I accept if you say that.”
After securing their place in the Europa League final, United will end the season having played 64 games.
Mourinho said it had been one of the most difficult campaigns of his 17-year career. And, whatever happens in Stockholm.
He added: “Very hard season. Very hard season. Some invisible work [to the media].
“But when I analyse my work, I analyse my work in the globality because, better than anyone, I know what I did, I know what I had to do.
“But, again, I accept that in your eyes football results make that decision.”