Manchester United’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLIS /
Jose Mourinho claims he is a calmer manager than Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp despite having been sent to the stands twice for disciplinary reasons this season.
United manager Mourinho has guided his team to nine successive wins in all competitions, and even though they are currently sixth, they could make up significant ground on the Premier League’s top four by beating Liverpool on Sunday.
United’s run, which includes six straight league victories, has moved them to within five points of Liverpool, who begin the weekend in second place.
Klopp suggested on Friday that both managers are driven by anger, and that is the reason for their sustained success.
Mourinho, though, believes he is calmer, even though he has faced three Football Association charges since taking charge at Old Trafford last May.
The former Chelsea chief was sent to the stands against Burnley in October for a half-time dispute with referee Mark Clattenburg, and suffered the same fate in a league game against West Ham after he kicked a water bottle.
Mourinho received a one-match touchline ban for both offences, and a separate fine of £50,000 ($60,000) for making comments about referee Anthony Taylor before United’s 0-0 draw at Anfield in October.
“I just think I like to win like every manager likes to win. Everyone has his own personality. Everyone has his own style of coaching and his own style of leading,” Mourinho told reporters on Friday.
“Probably we have some qualities that are similar, for sure we have other qualities that make us really different people and different managers.
“But looking to this match, I think he wants to play the game as much as I want to. He is as motivated as I am.
“I’m not sure if he’s so calm as I am, but it’s just one more big game in our careers.”
Mourinho acknowledges that he still has the hunger for success that has brought him eight domestic league titles across four countries during his managerial career, as well as the two Champions League triumphs.
His first significant impact at Old Trafford as a manager was in March 2004, when his Porto team knocked United out of the Champions League in the last 16.
Mourinho celebrated a decisive late goal in the second leg of that tie, which Porto won 3-2 on aggregate, by running down the touchline.
The United manager joked that, even though he is 13 years older, he is still more than capable of repeating that celebration at the right moment.
“Yeah I can run. The problem is to score a winning goal in the last minute. I can still run, though, it’s no problem,” he said.
Mourinho indicated that winger Memphis Depay could yet stay at United beyond the end of the January transfer window, despite interest from Lyon.
“The offer we had is far from being reasonable for us. He is our player. If nothing happens he is one more for us,” Mourinho said.