Jose Mourinho admits 'media manhunt' is getting him downJose Mourinho prepares to face former club Chelsea on Saturday admitting for the first time that the perceived “manhunt” against him is starting to take its toll personally.
Jose Mourinho has admitted he would land himself in deeper trouble if he vented his true feelings over his Football Association charge for reputedly swearing into a television camera.
The FA have granted the Manchester United manager additional time in which to respond to claims he shouted “F--- off, sons of a b----” in Portugese at the end of his team’s 3-2 victory over Newcastle before the international break.
Mourinho - who has vowed not to “celebrate like crazy” if United score or win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday lunchtime out of respect for his former club - is understood to be furious at the FA’s decision to charge him with using abusive, insulting or improper language.
But Mourinho opted to bite his lip when quizzed about the matter, which could carry a touchline ban if proved. He had originally been asked to respond to the charge by 6pm on Friday but the governing body have now given him until 6pm on Wednesday to reply after the Portuguese requested more time.
“Yes, I did, but I don’t comment,” Mourinho said when asked if he had responded to the FA charge.
Mourinho kept tight-lipped when asked if he felt he was being victimised but left people in little doubt that he would run the risk of further punishment if he spoke candidly about the charge. “If I answer to your question I probably have another process because I cannot imply bias so my answer is no answer,” he added.
Mourinho is facing a fine or a touchline ban of at least one match if found guilty, although it is understood he would have been free to stand on the touchline against Chelsea even if he had admitted or denied the charge on Friday. Wayne Rooney, the former United striker, was banned for two matches for the same offence in 2011.
Mourinho can expect a hostile reception from Chelsea fans, who have taunted their former manager on his previous visits to Stamford Bridge with United. Mourinho was subjected to chants of “Judas” during the FA Cup quarter-final defeat in March 2017, when he reacted by holding up three fingers to denote the number of Premier League titles he won with the club. He also later declared that, until a Chelsea manager surpassed that achievement, “Judas is still No. 1”. Nonetheless, Mourinho insisted he would be respectful of Chelsea fans on Saturday.
“For me it is another game, would I celebrate like crazy my team scoring a goal at Stamford Bridge or my team having a victory at Stamford Bridge? I don’t think so,” he said. “I I think I would try to control myself and to respect the stadium and the supporters that were my supporters and my stadium for many years.
“To do that should be something [where] I completely lost my emotional control, which is not easy, so I would think which stadium I am in, which public is in the stands? But apart from that it is another match for me. I want to do well for my team, players, support, I am 100 per cent Manchester United tomorrow, no more space than respect for the stadium and the fans.”
Meanwhile, Mourinho has admitted that some of his players - whom he did not name - returned from international duty with “important injuries” that the club were never informed about. Nemanja Matic and Luke Shaw joined up with the Serbia and England squads but were sent back as they were already carrying injuries. Marouane Fellaini stayed with the Belgium camp but did not play in their games owing to a groin injury. Yet Mourinho was unhappy that United were kept in the dark over problems with some others.
“Some came back in good condition and the happiness of some good results,” he said. “Some came back with injuries, injuries that we were aware of when they happened and the national teams were correct in sending the boys back. We also had surprises with players that we had no idea that they were injured and they arrived with important injuries. The squad shape is that everybody available is selected.”