Press conference anaylsis: Jose Mourinho talks derby day, injuries and Pep Guardiola
Jose Mourinho met the media this afternoon, to give us his thoughts, views and team news ahead of the eagerly anticipated Manchester derby. It’s the first time that the fiercest of rivals, who once were close mates, will meet in opposite dugouts on the red and blue halves of the city respectively – and what a prospect we have in store.
Over the international break, Manchester United fans all over the globe were given plenty of cause for concern due to injury issues that seemed to occur. There were major doubts about the fitness of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marouane Fellaini, Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia – but the boss sheds some light on that.
On top of that, Mourinho acted rather snappy with one journalist in particular, who suggested this game is being billed as Jose Mourinho vs Josep Guardiola when there are obviously going to be twenty-two players out on the field fighting for all three points.
One thing is clear. The self-proclaimed Special One is clearly excited for the game tomorrow, although he probably won’t show it. It’s always nice to get one over on your local rivals, and Mourinho will be vying for blood come 12:45 tomorrow afternoon.
Jose on injuries
Perhaps the best bit of news for Manchester United fans is the fact that they have a fully fit squad to choose from. As previously mentioned, there were major concerns, and although some of those guys may not be able to start, they could provide a spark from off of the substitutes bench.
“I’m not saying Micki is ready to play 90 minutes but he is ready to help us. There are no injuries.” The Manchester United manager began.
“Everybody is available,” Mourinho said. “It’s not the same as if we were here all week and working, resting and not travelling, but there are no injuries and everybody has returned safely and on time for at least one training session. Everybody is ready and wants to play of course.”
After that, Jose went on to add that Antonio Valencia should be fit to play ninety minutes despite only travelling back from Ecuador this morning. However, he didn’t seem convinced by the fitness levels of Argentine duo Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo, who have travelled all over the globe throughout the last fortnight.
Mourinho on Guardiola rivalry
Mourinho was asked about whether the game was Pep vs Jose, and he was clearly keen to play that down. However, he was full of praise for United’s opponents tomorrow.
“Since the new owners have arrived, Manchester City have been a very good team,” Mourinho said. “They have had very good managers and have another very good manager now. They’ve always had very good players and, again, have very good players now, so they are what they are since I returned to England in 2013. They are a title contender and you have to respect them that way.”
Here are his thoughts on derby games
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