Jose Mourinho is expecting a warm welcome on his return to Old Trafford – but fears he might soon not be so popular with his own players.
Mourinho takes Tottenham to his former club on Sunday with a timely reminder that he won two trophies with Manchester United, guided them to a second placed finish and was welcomed back by the fans on his first trip back last year.
“The fans, they know that I gave everything that I could,” said Mourinho.
“I won what was possible to win, I didn’t win what was not possible to win.
“I gave everything, I gave my life to the club and my professionalism, like I always do,
“Internally, lots of friends for life, lots of amazing people that I met in the club.
“I only have good feelings, feelings that I will have to forget in 90 minutes because for 90 minutes, they want to win, I want to win, that’s football.”
This time Mourinho takes Spurs to Old Trafford for their eighth game in a gruelling 22 day run of fixtures.
But, despite the schedule, they have still a logjam of players with a top heavy squad with just three days left of the transfer window.
They have still got to find Danny Rose a new club, doubts remain over Dele Alli and they also want to strengthen their defence which leaves Mourinho fearing that unless they ship some players out then he could be left with an unhappy camp.
Mourinho said: “The transfer window in two directions and it’s possible that we could let a couple of players to leave, it’s possible we could let a couple of young players to go and experience playing.
“For sure, we are not going to keep every player in the squad over normal numbers.
“I like to work normally with a squad of 22 players plus the keepers and we are not going to be far from that number.
“But my job is not to keep them happy. My job is to do the best for the club and to get the best possible results.
“But I agree that it’s impossible to keep everybody happy when you have so many players because every weekend, every match, some players will not be playing and that’s not good for them especially when they are good players.
“But at the same time, we are a big club, we want to be bigger, we want to play in all the competitions, we have six matches in Europa League Group phase playing on a Thursday and we are for sure to get lots of matches at Sunday at 12 o’clock or Sunday 3pm.
“It’s going to be very, very hard so it’s impossible to do it with all the same players and to have a good squad with good numbers is what all the top clubs have.”
Mourinho admits he is relishing the prospect of a rest after this run of fixtures after Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford.
It would have been easy for the fixture pile-up to have overwhelmed Spurs and for them to have gone out of Europe and the Carabao Cup.
Instead, they have somehow navigated their way through with the season very much alive and Mourinho insists the players’ “amazing and incredible” mentality bodes well for a good campaign.
Mourinho added: “I’ve never had anything like this before. Never. After Sunday, for me and the players, that are not going to the national team, we will have an amazing week to relax, to get energy again.
“But for the boys going to the national teams, and we have so many going with different countries, it’s going to be again, and again, and again, more hard work.
“Of course it’s too much, it’s impossible to have another week and suffer like that. But the groups work very, very hard.
“They stimulate each other, they work hard for each other and they are there for each other.”
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