JOSE MOURINHO has quoted Nelson Mandela claiming that he “won and learnt” in his time at Old Trafford.
The 56-year-old was sacked last December after a broody spell that saw results and confidence plummet at United.
And when asked about his time with the Red Devils ahead of his first return tomorrow, he said: “No regrets. I won and I learned.
“This is a closed chapter for me. I left the club and took my time to process everything that happened. I took my time to prepare myself for the next challenge.
“Honestly, Manchester United for me now is in my book of experiences, it’s in my history book.
“Like a 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’s not for me to analyse United now.
“Now I analyse them as team as an opponent, the way they play, how can they beat us, how can we beat them. This is for me the important thing, nothing else.
“I’m not a villain, I’m not an enemy but I am the coach trying to win against Manchester United – that’s how they’re going to look at me.”
Mourinho was full of positive words to say about the Old Trafford supporters: “In relation to Solskjaer, he is the guy trying to win the game for United fans.
“They’re not going to support me. One thing is a nice reaction but during the game they’re going to support Solskjaer.
“That’s’ the nature of the game and the nature of a place with an incredible history and fans who understand clearly the passion of the club. They love the club, they love Solskjaer.
“Again, if you want to speak about United as an opponent, let’s speak about them as an opponent.
“About my history there, go to my office upstairs and I still have a couple of pictures of my Man United time and that’s it.
“These are things they can do this season too. They can win the Europa League, they’ve qualified for the knockout. They can win the Carabao Cup as they are still in the competition.
“They can win the FA Cup, they’ve got Wolves in the first round. They can achieve these targets. I did it, that’s how we did it in my time. We did it but they can also do it this season.
“Going back to Old Trafford is to go back to a place where I was happy. I can say that I was happy. I have great relation with Manchester United supporters.
“I went back as a pundit which is a different perspective. I was really humbled by such a beautiful reception.
“Tomorrow I go back as the coach of the team that is going is try to beat Manchester United and that maybe gives a different perspective.
“I expect this respect that they always show towards me, but I understand what they want is exactly the opposite of what I want.
“I want Tottenham to win, they want Manchester United to win. During the match I expect them to forget me and I expect them to support their team to get the result they want.”
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Spurs go into the match two points and four places above United in the Premier League table, after winning Mourinho’s opening two games in charge to leapfrog the Red Devils.
But victory for Solskjaer would see his team jump back ahead of Tottenham.
And that might be necessary, with Spurs’ unemployed former boss Mauricio Pochettino’s shadow looming large over the Norwegian at Old Trafford.
This post written by Etienne Fermie originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.