London (AFP) – Jose Mourinho insists his loyalties are completely with Tottenham as the former Chelsea boss prepares for an emotional clash with his old club.
Mourinho once claimed he could never manage Tottenham due to his two successful spells with their London rivals Chelsea.
But the Portuguese coach accepted Tottenham’s offer to replace Mauricio Pochettino in November and on Sunday he will come face to face with Chelsea for the first time since taking charge in north London.
While Mourinho earned his place in Chelsea folklore for the six trophies he won at Stamford Bridge, which include three Premier League titles, he made it clear he no longer concerns himself with the Blues because his allegiance is with Tottenham.
“For me, it’s a game. I am 100 per cent Tottenham, 100 per cent my club always, all my career,” Mourinho told reporters on Friday.
“No space at all for my previous clubs. I gave everything to all of them. Everything. I kept nothing.
“I gave everything but they are my previous clubs. I give everything to my club – my club is Tottenham.
“It’s so easy for me to play that game. Difficult because of Chelsea’s quality but not difficult from an emotional point of view.”
Mourinho will remember that some Chelsea fans gave him a hard time when he returned to the Bridge as Manchester United boss, chanting “you’re not special anymore” in reference to his self-styled ‘special one’ nickname.
He is likely to endure more taunts from Chelsea supporters at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend, adding another layer of intrigue to an already explosive fixture.
Tottenham are in good form in the early days of Mourinho’s reign and another win over Chelsea, who have struggled in recent weeks, would take them above the Blues in the top four despite trailing their rivals by 12 points when Pochettino was dismissed.
Mourinho will come up against a familiar face in the opposition dugout in the shape of Frank Lampard, one of the key players his two reigns at Chelsea.
The former Real Madrid boss revealed there will be a big hug waiting for Lampard, but he will not be inviting him for a post-match drink.
“I don’t think so because our stadium is built in the way that our office is completely on the inside our private headquarters,” Mourinho said.
“Until now I didn’t invite any managers to go there and I don’t think I’ll do that with Frank.
“But like I used to say, a big hug before the game and another after the game, that’s for sure independent of results and who is happy.
“I think our feelings will be forever. I’ll always be grateful to him for what he gave me as a player.
“Nothing is going to change that. I love the guy, I will always love the guy. I hope he loses on Sunday.”
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