In the build-up to Manchester United and Liverpool’s Premier League encounter coming up on Saturday, Jose Mourinho has insisted that there’s no pressure for a win or loss at Anfield.
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach admits his weekend fixture against The Reds isn’t special in any way except that it could provide an added boost to his title quest.
Image: Jose Mourinho
Morinho, 54, revealed his dates with Liverpool are always circled in red on his calendar, adding that the longstanding rivalry comes with an unwanted tensed atmosphere.
However, the Special One says it should be counted as just another challenge on their way to the top.
Mou recorded a very low possession total (35%) at Anfield during last season’s encounter where he chose to play a defensive game – one which was referred to as a ‘classic containing game plan.’ It was also a record league total since 2003.
“Do I like to go to Anfield? Yes, I love it. Do I like to play against Liverpool? Yes. I like amazing stadiums, the best opponents but the preparation is not different. It’s just a match,” he said at a press conference, perfectly underplaying pressures from a match which is expected to prove one of his biggest tests for the season.
United have been amazing since the start of this season, scoring four goals in six games out of the total 11 matches played so far.
To enhance his chances at the top 4, following criticisms from analysts who questioned the quality of strikers at Mou’s disposal, the Portuguese tactician is reportedly scouting for another super-striker.
Belgian star Romelu Lukaku and his Serbian teammate scored for their respective countries during the international break, and they’re set for a first-timer against Jurgen Klopp’s men.
“It’s three points,” he said of the Merseyside mission. “It happened this season, an opposition player told me: ‘This match for us is like a cup final and I thought: ‘Pfft, why?’
“When you are in a big club, when you are a big player, when you are a big manager, every game is important. You cannot look at some matches as cup finals and other matches differently. For me, every match is a cup final and I’ve been like this all the time.
“It’s three points not four. If we are at a moment in a season where the duel between the two teams ensures the result will mean more than three points, than yes. Sometimes a draw or even to lose by a certain goal difference is important. In this case, it is not important. It’s just a three-point match. That’s the way I approach it.
“It’s good it’s that way for me. It’s good to do it without any added pressure or emotion. I have to do it always in a professional way. It’s the right example for my players to prepare for the Liverpool game.”
Speaking in a televised interview before weekend, the Old Trafford boss said, “One scores goals [making reference to Lukaku and Matic], another one is a midfield player, an anchor man. A player we always need to give us some more stability in our football.
“In this moment, we are a team with good stability and control of matches. I think Matic has been important for that. We are scoring our goals and, of course, our striker and our no.9 is a man with a very strong arrival at the club.”
Spurs visit Old Trafford on Oct. 28 and then a week later United travel to Stamford Bridge to take on defending champions Chelsea, Mourinho’s former club.