Manchester United manager José Mourinho has dismissed claims that his personal battle with Antonio Conte will increase the stakes of their game against Chelsea this Sunday.
The Portuguese boss was involved in a war of words with Conte earlier this season and there appears to be no love lost between the two managers.
Mourinho vs Conte is personal. No way Mourinho doesn’t win on Sunday. He’s built a career proving people wrong and he’ll be totally focussed on beating Conte.#InJoseWeTrust
— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) February 23, 2018
However, Mourinho believes that Sunday’s fixture at Old Trafford will not mean more just because of his spat with Chelsea’s manager earlier this season. The 55-year-old also claimed that, on a more personal level, the importance of facing his former side diminishes every year.
“You are right, this is a big game,” Mourinho told reporters, as quoted by the Telegraph. “For the past 10-15 years, Man United and Chelsea are big matches and this is one more.
“Last season they were fighting to be champions and we were not even fighting to be in the top four.
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“It doesn’t mean more because of Conte [and] this game will mean less and less and less with the passing of years. I left a couple of years ago, it will be three years, then four, but step by step, the feeling I was the Chelsea manager, it disappears.”
Mourinho has had two spells in charge at Stamford Bridge during his decorated managerial career. The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ was first appointed as the Blues’ boss in 2004 after his outstanding achievements with Porto and returned to west London again in 2013.