Jose Mourinho says he he will be taking Sir Alex Ferguson’s advice to ‘shut up’, but admits he is full of admiration for the Manchester United manager.
Prior to the weekend’s Premiership games, Ferguson had had told Mourinho to ‘button it’ – a reference to Mourinho’s recent criticism of referees.
But the Chelsea manager insists he has no intention of keeping his thoughts to himself, saying: “Why should I shut up?
“I’m not allowed to talk about ref, but he was allowed to for the last 20 years of his career? What’s the difference between me and him?
“What would he say if Chelsea win a match with a penalty like they did at Middlesbrough and Tottenham, or the penalty they got in the first minute against Portsmouth?”
However, despite being upset by Ferguson’s remarks, Mourinho admits he still has total respect for the United manager.
“I have 100 per cent respect for him, the players, the club, the team they have and for the wonderful league campaign they are doing,” he added. “That’s one part of the story.
“But the other part of the story is in the right moment, they’ve had a penalty, or a goal, or a sending off – something happened for them.
“They have a great team and are doing a great job. We are champions and I have to adopt the attitude of champions and be honest with them.”
Mourinho also said his team will never concede defeat in the battle for a third consecutive Premiership title.
“Chelsea are the champions,” he pointed out. “We have to do everything we can to win the title or at least to fight until the last moment. And I think that one of the things that gives us hope is that [United] are winning with luck.
“In this moment they’re not winning three- or four-nil, easily. They are in that moment where they win in the last minute, they win with a goal coming from we don’t know where, so they are giving us some hope that one day they can drop points.
“But we cannot think about them. We cannot play with our minds on their result. We have just to play and win and see what happens.”
“If you remember last season we were in the hotel and Man United drew at home against Sunderland. That’s the kind of thing that happens.
“The second team can do that and hand the other side the championship on a plate, like the breakfast on a tray. No chance.”