Speaking at an event in London, Ferguson suggested Mourinho was a good leader, but one struggling to come to grips with his first period of non-success, including a home defeat to promoted Bournemouth at the weekend, their eighth defeat from 15 Premier League games.
“If you look at his whole career there has been nothing but a rise all of the time so for the first time in his life he has had to deal with bad publicity, adversity and that is a challenge for him,” Ferguson said.
“I watched the match on Saturday and they could have won by a few goals, but they lost,” added Ferguson, who enjoyed great success during his 27-year spell as Manchester United manager.
“Football today is such a big financial industry, the television deal is (worth) billions, there is the press involvement, there is pressure from their own fans, it is a very high risk industry today,” warned the Scot.
“The sort of average time a manager lasts now is a year throughout the whole country and that is not a big time.”
Three Premier League sides, Liverpool, Aston Villaand Sunderland, have all changed managers so far this season and while Mourinho signed a new four-year deal in August, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is notoriously impatient with his managers.
Ferguson, however, feels Mourinho can dig deep and turn Chelsea’s fortunes around despite their dreadful form.
“For Jose, I think all good leaders will eventually find a solution. I think he will, I think he will find a solution and I think you will get back to normal which is not looking great at the moment,” he said.
“But I know the guy and I know the work he has done in football and I can’t see it lasting long, I can’t see it.”
Chelsea face Mourinho’s former club Porto at home on Wednesday for their final Champions League Group G tie.
With Dynamo Kiev expected to beat Maccabi Tel Aviv, a victory would see Chelsea advance as group winners while a draw guarantees them second.
Defeat, though, would see the Blues fall into the Europa League.
Ferguson also said he was “worried” that Jurgen Klopp’s move to Liverpool would elevate the Reds above Manchester United.
The last of Liverpool’s 18 English league titles came back in 1990 but, after hiring Klopp in October and losing just two of their 12 games since, Ferguson is confident the former Borussia Dortmund boss will transform the Anfield outfit’s fortunes.
“I’m worried about him because one thing United don’t want is Liverpool to be above us, that’s for sure,” Ferguson said.
“He’s a fantastic personality, he’s got that great confidence in himself.
“He’s got a great personality — his big white teeth are always showing he’s enjoying it. I know him quite well from the coaching seminars we have and I got a text from him the other day.
“He’s going to make a difference to that club, there’s absolutely no doubt about it. He’s got the personality, he’s got the drive, he’s got the knowledge and a great presence about him so I think things are looking up there.”