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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Jul 2014

Football

Mourinho hits back at Villas-Boas
AFP
Cobham, United Kingdom, September 27, 2013
First Published: 20:42 IST(27/9/2013)
Last Updated: 20:44 IST(27/9/2013)

Jose Mourinho has hit back at Andre Villas-Boas's decision to speak out publicly about the break down in relations between the two managers ahead of Chelsea's visit to Tottenham Hotspur.

But the Chelsea manager insisted he would not be drawn into a debate about the details of his former assistant's comments because he is "not a kid".

The two men will come face to face on the touchline at White Hart Lane on Saturday for the first time since Villas-Boas quit his post as a member of Mourinho's backroom staff after the pair had worked together at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.

Spurs manager Villas-Boas, whose side are level on points with Premier League leaders Arsenal and two in front of Chelsea, said Thursday he'd left the San Siro after growing frustrated at his limited role and admitted the once strong relationship between the two men had disappeared.

But speaking at a media briefing ahead of the all-London game, Mourinho told reporters at Chelsea's training ground on Friday: "I don't describe (the relationship), because I'm not a kid to discuss relationships with the media. It's a personal thing.

"I don't care what he says. I'm here, not to comment on what he says or what to know what he says. I'm not interested. For me there is no point.

"I'm not disappointed. I'm just here to speak about anything you want related to the game, not related to this situation."

Mourinho insisted he would not derive any additional satisfaction from seeing his side claim victory against Villas-Boas' side.

And he highlighted the way he approached the 2010 Champions League final when manager of Inter Milan against a Bayern Munich side bossed by Louis van Gaal - a mentor at Barcelona - as an example of how he believes a match between two former allies should be approached.

Asked if victory against Villas-Boas would be particularly sweet, he said: "No, that is not the case.

"I played a Champions League final against a club where the manager was somebody very important in my career, somebody that gave me the chance to grow up and teach me so many things, and I had to play against him in a Champions League final.

"And I did it in a professional way. He did it in a professional way. That's the way you have to do it."

But Mourinho offered an olive branch when he made it clear he would accept a post-match drink if one were offered to him by fellow Portuguese Villas-Boas.

"When people invite me, I always go. I never refuse. I never refused in the Premier League when an opposition manager invited me. I never refuse."

Meanwhile the Chelsea manager said midfielder Marco van Ginkel is likely to miss the rest of the season after injuring knee ligaments in midweek.

"He had already surgery," Mourinho said. "The surgery went well. The doctor is happy with the way the surgery was made.

"But now he (van Ginkel) has to wait, and he has to wait for a long time.

"It's very sad for a kid who was going into an important season for his development and evolution, but that's football. It sometimes happens.

"We lose a player for almost the whole season. I think five, six months is a long time, so to be back probably when the season is hot and the clubs are playing crucial matches, to be back directly for that, we don't know.

"But the important now is not us, the squad, the fact we lost a player, it's only the kid. He's in good hands."


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