Manchester United go into Saturday’s clash with Liverpool aiming to put their fierce rivals to the sword.
The Red Devils are already being tipped to challenge for the Premier League title after winning six of their first seven games.
It is a stark contrast to previous years, where the likes of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal failed to get the Old Trafford outfit firing.
And Phelan thinks Mourinho has come back fresher than before – and feels Manchester United are benefitting as a result.
“I think they are getting that (fear) back slowly because now at Old Trafford there is an atmosphere, there is an expectation and the players are reacting really well to it,” Phelan told Premier League Daily.
“You have to build that reputation that fear and I think it was lost a little bit in the time Sir Alex had left.
“In the off-season, he’s gone about his business really, really well.
“I think he’s come back fresh and he’s added to the squad and I think they are looking at a squad now that can really go the distance.”
United have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes at Anfield in recent years.
They claimed a credible point in a goalless draw last term, and won 1-0 and 2-1 in the two years before that.
And Phelan thinks Mourinho will not want to drop points against Liverpool.
“Right now he’s building something, he’s got off to a terrific start and he will want to continue that,” he added.
“But he certainly won’t want to lose this game because I think it helps him build and it gives confidence to the players going forward.”
Source : EXPRESS