United’s summer signing Fred hasn’t featured in the Red Devils’ last four Premier League games.
The Brazil international has made just 10 appearances in all competitions under Mourinho this season.
Mourinho has cut a frustrated figure this season after a disappointing summer transfer window.
The Special One demanded Manchester United signed a new centre-back, however, Woodward refused to pay up.
United ended up signing Fred – for £52m – Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant.
And Mourinho has opened up on Fred’s lack of game time, claiming the Brazilian will play more once his back four improves.
“Step by step,” Mourinho said. “You also have other players at other clubs that needed their time and you have some of them that play even less than what Fred is playing.
“I think Fred [will play more], when the team is defensively stronger and doesn’t need in midfield people that are more worried about giving some balance to the team than being involved in creation and attacking dynamics.
“The day we are stronger defensively, I think the horizons for Fred change completely.”
Mourinho’s thinly veiled dig at Woodward comes days after the United boss hinted his squad lacked quality after their 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
“We shoot ourselves so many times during the season. That is really difficult,” Mourinho said.
“Big soul by the players, fantastic attitude from the first minute. Many players in difficulties, some good performances, some players in difficulty.
“Diogo Dalot the first start, Marcos Rojo the first minutes, Matteo Darmian the third start, Eric Bailly doesn’t play for a couple of months, Chris Smalling, a brave guy to play with such difficulties – the boys left their souls.
“And when sometimes people speak about quality… [sighs].”
When asked if it’s positive the United players are sacrificing themselves, Mourinho added: “Yes, positive but there are things that I cannot get from them and I cannot say much more than this.
“Big soul, everybody gives everything, that is for sure and that’s a positive feeling.
“I cannot tell you much more I prefer just to say I’m happy with soul commitment bravery I’m really happy with that.”
United are back in action on Saturday afternoon, with Mourinho’s men hosting Fulham in the Premier League.