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I’m not a villain, says Mourinho, who quotes Mandela ahead of United return

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Tottenham Hotspur's Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho smiles as he takes a team training session at Tottenham Hotspur's Enfield Training Centre, in north London on November 25, 2019, ahead of their UEFA Champions League Group B football match against Ol

Image credit: Getty Images

ByMichael Hincks
03/12/2019 at 12:16 | Updated 03/12/2019 at 20:13
@MichaelHincks

Jose Mourinho has said he is not playing the role of “villain or enemy” when he returns to Manchester United as Tottenham head coach on Wednesday.

Spurs travel to Old Trafford for a midweek Premier League clash that falls 12 months after United sacked Mourinho.

And Mourinho, who has won his opening three games as Spurs boss, is hoping for a positive reception from the United crowd.

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"I'm not a villain, I'm not an enemy but I am the coach that is trying to win against Manchester United. That's the way I think they are going to look at me,” he said.

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"In relation to [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer, he is the guy that is trying to win the game for United fans so of course they are going to support him and not support me.

"One thing is a nice reaction, another thing is support. So I think a nice reaction is probably to me but then during the game the support will be for Solskjaer - that's the nature of the game.

"That's the nature of a place with an incredible history and with fans that understand clearly what the passion for a club is. They love their club, so they love Solskjaer."

Mourinho even quoted Nelson Mandela in the build-up to his Old Trafford return, stating he has learned from his experience at United.

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“This is a closed chapter for me. I left the club and took my time to process everything that happened and to prepare myself for the next challenge,” he said.

Honestly, Manchester United for me is in my book of experiences, my history book. A little bit like Mr Mandela was saying, ‘You never lose. You win or you learn.’

“At United I won and I learned. My time after I left was a good time for me. It is not for me to analyse United. I analyse United now as an opponent.

"For you it looks like I left Manchester United yesterday. It is almost one year ago. I am Tottenham."

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FootballPremier LeagueManchester UnitedTottenham Hotspur
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