Jose Mourinho has been discussing his first return to Manchester United as the Tottenham manager prepares to take his side to Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
Mourinho will make his first return to the Old Trafford touchline since his sacking by Manchester United in December of last year, having recently returned to the Premier League following his appointment as Mauricio Pochettino’s successor last month.
The 56-year-old was given a warm reception when returning to the ground as a Sky Sports pundit, though admits the dynamic could change when he lines up against his former side as an opposing manager.
Mourinho has spoken warmly of his tenure at the club despite their parting of ways last year, and speaking at his pre-match press conference has described Old Trafford as a place where he was ‘happy’.
“Going back to Old Trafford is going back to a place where I was happy. I have a great relationship with the supporters,” the Portuguese said.
“I went back as a pundit and I was humbled by such a beautiful reception. This time I go back as the coach with the team that is going to try to beat Manchester United and that gives a different perspective.
“I expect the respect they show toward me. But I understand that what they want is the opposite to what I want – I want Tottenham to win, they want Manchester United to win.
“During the match I expect them to forget me and to support their team to get the result they want.”
Mourinho has overseen three consecutive wins since being appointed as Spurs manager, the club having risen to fifth in the Premier League following last weekend’s win at Bournemouth.
By contrast, United are currently languishing in ninth following back-to-back draws against Sheffield United and Aston Villa, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will move ahead of this week’s opponents with victory on Wednesday evening.