Mourinho has won Europe’s elite club competition on two previous occasions with Porto and Inter Milan.
Neither team were expected to go on and lift the trophy, and United are far from favourites this year either. But the manager’s experience and success last season in the Europa League will be crucial, Irwin believes.
United will progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League if they beat Sevilla at Old Trafford on March 13 after their goalless draw in Spain. And Irwin, who was part of the 1999 team that beat Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp, said: “In the Champions League, I think any one of 10 teams can win it. “And I’d include us [Manchester United] in that because I think the manager knows how to win. “You saw that in the Europa League last season.
“His history will tell you he knows how to win in Europe as well, so that will count for us. “So, we’re in a very good position with an awful lot to play for during the last two-and-a-half months of the season.
Manchester United will likely have to see off Premier League rivals if they are to reach the Champions League final. Liverpool and Manchester City have all but assured themselves of a quarter-final place already, while Chelsea and Tottenham could still go through too.