Jose Mourinho Press Conference Quotes Ahead Of Tottenham FACup Semi Final
ON ARSENE WENGER LEAVING ARSENAL
“If he is happy, I am happy. If he’s sad, I’m sad. I always wish the best for my opponents. I’m pretty sure that we as a club and especially because Mr. Wenger and Arsenal were, for many many years, the biggest rivals of Sir Alex’s era, if you can say that, I’m pretty sure that we as a club will show Mr. Wenger the respect that he deserves. Three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and not just that, what he did in Japan, in France, what he brought to French football, what he gave to Arsenal, even in the period without Premier League titles. So again, if he’s happy with the decision, I’m really happy and I hope he doesn’t retire from football.”
ON REGRETTING SPATS WITH WENGER
“It’s not about regretting,” Jose replied. I think your question is typical from somebody that was not on this side. You were not a manager, you were not a player, you don’t know the way we respect each other, even when sometimes it looks like in some moments we don’t.
“Players who get yellow or red cards by aggression, actions against each other, bad words during their career – a manager is the same thing. In the end, the ones that respect each other more are probably the ones that have the problems.
“It’s power against power, it’s quality against quality, it’s ambition against ambition, but in the end it’s people from the same business, it’s people that respect each other and respect each other’s careers, so it’s not about regretting.
“It happened – what matters for me is the way I respect the person, I respect the professional and their career. I always say that, for some, the memory is short, but real football people don’t have a short memory and I don’t have a short memory.”
ON TOTTENHAM’S POTENTIAL HOME ADVANTAGE
“I played one cup final at Roma’s stadium against Roma and I won and I play a cup final in my stadium [Santiago Bernabéu Stadium as Real Madrid manager] and I lost, so I think when you go to these big moments with these big decisions, semi-finals, finals, I don’t think it’s an advantage. I think we have to look at it in the same way that we do when we had Derby at Old Trafford, Brighton at Old Trafford and Huddersfield away. Sometimes it’s at home, sometimes it’s away. This time it’s away, but I don’t see any advantage. For me, it’s the same as playing at Old Trafford.
UNITED FANS AT WEMBLEY
“If the 30,000 fans are similar to the 1,000 or 2,000 that we have at every away match, then we will be more than at home. It depends on their profile, but it also depends on us, it also depends on the team and the way we perform, the way we fight, the way we commit to every second of the game. I think that will also make an influence on the fans.”
USING FULHAM TRAINING FACILITIES
“First of all, to thank them [Fulham] because they let us use the best facilities,” Mourinho said. “Yesterday [Thursday] they let us use the stadium Craven Cottage and today [Friday] I asked for a pitch on the training ground [Motspur Park] and Jokanovic, the manager, gave me their best pitch so I have to thank Fulham and Joka for that.
“I think it’s just good for us after the Bournemouth game, instead of travel back to Manchester, get the plane, then go back home, come back the next day, train to London again. But we just came here [to London], we’re here together, training quietly, preparing for the game the best we can.”
“I think it’s good because we don’t like to lose matches and we don’t like to lose two in a row, so when you lose one and win the next one, at least you break that negative dynamic, so it was good. But it was also good from the mental point of view because our target of [finishing in the] top four is really, really close and that result gave us better conditions to try to finish the second, which is the objective.”
UNITED TO PLAY AT MAXIMMA LEVEL TO QUALIFY
“I have played so many semi-finals that I still don’t know the secret to win them all. I just feel that you have to play at your best levels to mentally respect what the knockout means. It’s Tottenham, one of the best teams in the country, but it could be a Championship team and my feeling would be the same. A semi-final is a semi-final and has to be played at your maximum level.”
THE FEELING IN WINNING THE CUP
“I won it only once but the feeling is great because of the meaning of the competition and we obviously have to try to give everything [to win it] but for now, we have to try to reach the final and, after this match, we still have four Premier League matches to focus on.”