Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United are "far" from being a team in his image.
United face Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday on the back of a 2-1 Champions League loss at Valencia in midweek.
Mourinho's men lie sixth in the table, 16 points shy of Liverpool, and his gripes about a lack of desired reinforcements and struggles to get the best out of key players such as Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku have been a theme of United's season.
By contrast, Liverpool are still unbeaten in the top flight after 16 matches and operate with a clear playing identity – very much in tune with the style Jurgen Klopp honed during his Bundesliga days with Mainz and Borussia Dortmund.
Asked how far away United are from being similarly aligned with his own philosophy," Mourinho simply replied: "Far. It's not just about spending."
United can be encouraged by an impressive recent record against their rivals.
They are unbeaten in the past eight Premier League editions of the fixture and Mourinho's record against Klopp reads a victory and three draws since his appointment at Old Trafford.
"We got two positive results against Liverpool last season, we beat them at home, we didn’t lose any match against them in four," the former Chelsea boss reflected.
"But I think but that was the past, so Sunday has nothing to do with what happened in the past.
"I have to focus not on what happened, not on the credit we were given or not [given].
"I have to focus on the next match, the next match is the one that is important and that's it."