United are now in my history book: Mourinho

LONDON • Jose Mourinho has labelled his time at Manchester United a "closed chapter", claiming he is interested only in beating them when Tottenham travel to Old Trafford today.

This will be the new Spurs manager's first return to his former club since his sacking a year ago, but the Portuguese insisted he was not looking for a measure of revenge.

At his press conference yesterday, he said: "I left the club, I took my time to process everything that happened, I took my time to prepare myself for the next challenge.

"Honestly, United for me is in my book of experiences, it's in my history book."

He has won all three of his matches in charge of Spurs, who are in fifth in the Premier League, but they remain just two points ahead of ninth-place United (18).

Mourinho's priority is to close the gap to the top four, with fourth-place Chelsea, who host Aston Villa today, six points ahead.

He is expecting a warm welcome at a ground where he won the League Cup and Europa League double in 2017.

"I feel good, I like to play big matches, I like to play against the best teams and go back to a place where I was happy," he said. "I have a great relationship with the Manchester United supporters.

"I went back as a pundit and I was humbled by such a beautiful reception. Tomorrow, I go back as the coach of the team that will try and beat Manchester United.

"I understand that what they want is the exact opposite of what I want. Of course during the match I expect them to forget me."

On the Red Devils' struggles this term, he added: "It is not for me to analyse United now. I analyse them as an opponent, how they play.

"How can we beat them? For me, that is the important thing."

With the exception of long-term absentees Hugo Lloris, Ben Davies and Erik Lamela, Mourinho will take a full squad to Manchester, although it is uncertain if Christian Eriksen will make the trip.

According to The Athletic website, the Denmark midfielder, who is out of contract next summer, yesterday reiterated his desire to leave the club.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2019, with the headline 'United are now in my history book: Mourinho'. Print Edition | Subscribe