(Reuters) – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has promised to show plenty of restraint and respect if he inflicts a first Premier League defeat of the season on his former side Chelsea on Saturday.
Mourinho, who had two spells in charge of the London club and led them to three league titles, has not enjoyed previous meetings with Chelsea as United boss, losing four out of six matches including this year’s FA Cup final.
“For me it’s another game. Would I celebrate like crazy my team’s goal or victory at Stamford Bridge? I don’t think so,” Mourinho told a news conference on Friday.
Mourinho was involved in a war of words with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, whom he criticised for celebrating wildly after Chelsea’s 4-0 win over United in the 2016-17 season.
Without referring to that incident or Conte, Mourinho said that he would always be mindful of his actions when visiting his former club who are second in the table, six places above United.
“I’ll try always to control myself and to respect the stadium and supporters that were my supporters and my stadium for many years. To do that I would have to lose my emotional control, which is not easy,” Mourinho added.
“I would always think where I am, which stadium I’m in and which public is in the stands. It’s just another match for me. A match I want to do well in for my players, my team and my supporters. I’m 100 percent Manchester United tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, United were fined 15,000 euros ($17,00) and Mourinho warned by UEFA after arriving late for their goalless home draw with Valencia in the Champions League this month, European soccer’s governing body said.
British media reported that United’s bus had been held up in traffic on the way to Old Trafford and arrived 45 minutes before kickoff of the Group H match, which was put back by five minutes.
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(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)