Manchester United boss, Jose Mourinho, says that the Red Devils’ Premier League clash at Old Trafford against Liverpool is just like any other big football match.
United are currently second on 62 points while Liverpool who are on 60 points are third in the Premier League table.
While speaking during his Friday’s press conference ahead of the match, Mourinho states that he sees every opponent as his rival.
“For me, it’s just a big match – two historical clubs, not just in England, but in the world,” Mourinho begins.
“And in this moment, important points for the top four, important points for second position, which is better than third or the fourth.
“I still don’t know because in my mentality every match is the same and I’m not very good on that culture of ‘this rivalry is special, that match is special’.
“I’ve never been very good at it, I never looked to AC Milan as the biggest rival, I never look at Atletico Madrid as the enemy, I never looked to Spurs or to Arsenal as the big rival. I never have been very good at it.
It’s just a big match because we are speaking about two big clubs.
“We have three matches now – Liverpool, Sevilla and Brighton. If you ask me if I could choose one to be the most important one, I can’t choose. So for me, the most important one is Liverpool because it is next but the other two are knockout. The other two means we are in the Champions League quarter-final or no, means we go to a Wembley semi-final or no.
“So I don’t look at it. I want to win of course, it is a big match, it’s a big opponent, is the team just behind us, is a team that is already in the Champions League last eight so of course it is a big match, but I’m not very good on that rivalry. Every opponent is a rival.
“I don’t think the fans are happy if they say Liverpool is the biggest match of the season and then Sevilla is not a big match and then I say Brighton is not as important.
“My job is to prepare my players the best I can for every match then a fan is a fan, a professional is a professional and we have to face every match with the same mentality.
“So, for me, I don’t get that enemy, I don’t get that match means 10 points, that match means three points. Liverpool is a historical rival but in a positive way for me.”
Mourinho states the Old Trafford fans have a big role to play against Liverpool come Saturday.
He says: “It helps. It helps (fans support). Crystal Palace, I can imagine if we are losing 2-0 and our away fans, how many? 1,500 or something like that or 2,000?
“We could feel disapproval or criticism or support. It was 2-0 down and we only felt support and at 2-1 we kept feeling more belief and at 2-2 we felt they want us to go for it.
“They can help. Of course, Old Trafford is a huge majority of Manchester United fans, so they can help.”
He would also give the latest report on injuries concerning Eric Bailly and Marouane Fellaini.
“Yeah, he [Bailly] was fully fit for a couple of weeks. Yeah, but he’s okay. The only one that is back to the team is Fellaini,” he remarks
On pundits who always criticise whenever his team fail to win, Mourinho replies: “Some of the guys with an opinion couldn’t resolve their own problems when they were managers.
“They’re giving opinions like they have solutions for everything, but it is not like that”
And on the importance of Romelu Lukaku for United: “I had a laugh with him. That’s fine. He’s an important guy for me, one of the guys that I trust, that I love the attitude, I love the character.
“Against Crystal Palace, there was nothing that happened after our third goal but I told him central defender, so after the third goal he was playing central defender in a back five with Smalling and Lindelof because I couldn’t make any more changes.
“So when I say to the striker go there and do a job for me he is a sergeant.
“He is a guy you can trust, his attitude is phenomenal. That is why I always thought and told you many times for me it’s not just about the goals he scored but what he brings to the team and he brings to the team that exact spirit.”