Jose Mourinho says that he will miss his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson and “having a laugh” with the former Manchester United boss on his first trip back to Old Trafford on Monday, while heavily praising David Moyes as a “success” as a manager.
Chelsea manager Mourinho also insisted that the new United boss should not be compared with Ferguson, and that he has everything in place to succeed - but that Monday's game will not go too far in deciding the title.
“I think for me the difference is the routine of meet a friend, being together before the match, have the guarantee that after the match, independent of the result, we are together again enjoying our time and having a laugh,” Mourinho said of Old Trafford without Ferguson.
“But with David we don’t have this kind of relation but we have a good relation so I think we can start this kind of very nice relation like I have with Sir Alex. No problem, during the game, it’s not manager against manager, it’s club against club, 11 against 11, big players against big players and we just do our normal.”
Mourinho also denied that it would be difficult for Moyes to replace Ferguson, as he is in the “best moment of his career”. He continued: “There are things we cannot change and David has experience, he knows that cannot change which existed. The history with Sir Alex is there and it’s there forever. Is that a problem to David? I don’t think so, because I think maybe he doesn’t want to be compared with Sir Alex.
"He can’t be compared in this moment because one, he has an incredible history there and another one just arrived. Is that a problem for David? I don’t think it is. I think he’s an experienced manager, he has years and years and years in the Premier League. He works in this moment with better players than he did in the past.
"In this moment he has different ambitions than he did in previous years so I think he’s in the best moment of his career. Maturity, experience, big, big, big, club -- very good players. I think he’s in a fantastic position. I think he’s going to do very well. I hope he doesn’t win everything, he leaves something for the others.
“But it’s difficult to win [the title] with Chelsea, it’s more difficult to win it with Everton. So, I think he did his job very well at Everton, that’s why he’s at Man United. You have to measure success by the ambitions of the club where you are.
"So, if Olly [Ian Holloway] keeps Crystal Palace in the Premier League after bringing Palace to the Premier League again, I think it’s a huge success, but he doesn’t win the Premier League. You have to measure success in relation to the potential of the teams. David was successful at Everton. Now he knows he has to win trophies with Man United but, as I was saying before, now he has the potential by the club, by the support and he’s a good manager.
“Some of the best players in the world [are at the club] some of the best players in this country, always a mixture of young talent, with the players that carry the flag of United history. Was like that in my time. In my time they had Roy Keane, [Paul] Scholes, they have these players with big history there.
"Now they have still players from my time like [Rio] Ferdinand, [Nemanja] Vidic, [Ryan] Giggs, they have these have always this mixed with very good young players, with that winning culture that makes the history of a big club. They are a big club for many, many years. That is a great thing to have and they have everything.”
The Portuguese also disagreed with the idea that the result on Monday would be influential in the title race, adding: "I think every game has an influence. I think if you lose against Aston Vila, if we lose two points, I think it can have an effect. I think every game affects.
"I know this is not a two-horse race because in the championships where it is a two-horses race, the two big matches are much more crucial. In this case, it’s not like that, with six teams we have to play ten big matches. It’s different. It’s a match where every point we get is one point less than the opponent gets... it’s important, but it’s the beginning of the season.”