Send in the clowns? Jose Mourinho happy with hotel life in Manchester as he slams Premier League circus
Manchester United manager says just because he doesn’t behave like a ‘clown’ on the touchline doesn’t mean he’s lost his passion as he insists Old Trafford exit talk is ‘garbage news’
Jose Mourinho has laughed off the suggestion his decision to live in a city centre hotel shows a lack of commitment to his role as manager of Manchester United.
Ahead of the FA Cup tie against Derby, the Portuguese coach was forced to confirm his continued desire to remain in charge at Old Trafford following reports senior club officials are concerned he may be preparing to leave at the end of the season.
“If the fans want me to be comfortable, that’s the way I feel comfortable, I am very lazy,” Mourinho said at a press conference.
“I like to arrive in the hotel and I don’t want anyone to worry because I’m not living in a two-square-metres room.
“I’m in an apartment where I have all the comfort and support, like living in a house. If they are worried about me being comfortable and happy and supported, I really am.
“If they want me to be in a house that I don’t like, lonely, away from my assistants, then I would be a sad guy – and sad guys don’t work well.”
Mourinho has looked an unhappy figure in recent weeks as United’s title bid has faltered and they suffered a shock League Cup exit at Championship side Bristol City.
There have been suggestions he is disappointed at the relative lack of spending power at his disposal compared to Manchester City, who lead his second-placed side by 15 points in the Premier League, claims which he also denied.
But the 54-year-old defended himself against suggestions he may have lost his passion for the intense world of top-level football, with an apparent dig at Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp who are known for being animated in the dugout.
“Because I don’t behave as a clown, it means I’ve lost my passion?” said Mourinho, who clashed with Conte on the Stamford Bridge touchline last season.
“I prefer to behave as I am, more mature, better for myself and the team. You don’t have to behave like a crazy guy on the touchline to have that passion.
“That passion, you see it every day. The way a person is dedicated to his work, not what you do in front of the cameras.”
Mourinho dismissed reports he may walk out on United this summer as “garbage news”, saying he sees himself staying long-term at the Premier League giants.
He is in early talks over a contract extension with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and believes he will remain beyond his current deal.
The basic three-year contract ends in the summer of 2019, although the club holds a one-year option to extend.
“I’m going to leave when the club wants me to leave, because I have no intention to leave at all,” said Mourinho.
“My intention is to stay, and to work and to improve and to bring the club to where the club belongs and I want to stay. And I don’t see any reason not to stay.
“Speaking about my work and connecting my work to the garbage news is to say that the worst thing anyone can do to myself, is not to say that I am a bad manager, is not to say that I am under-performing or that I made a mistake in this game or that game, the worst thing someone can do is put one inch of doubt about my professionalism, my dedication to my club, to my job, to my players.”