Carlos relishes Mourinho duel

30th March 2018
First team

Carlos Carvalhal has saluted “the king of Portuguese football” Jose Mourinho as he gets set for battle with his fellow countryman at Manchester United this weekend.

Carvalhal goes head-to-head with the United boss for the first time in his career.

The pair have known each other for many years, and Carvalhal spent time observing Mourinho on the training ground during his stints in charge at Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Now Carvalhal is hoping to cause trouble for the man he feels changed everything for his fellow Portuguese coaches.

“Jose Mourinho is a big manager, one of the very best and the best manager Portugal has ever had,” said the Swans boss.

“In Portugal, he is our king in football. He is special – he is a special one.

“He has opened the door for other Portuguese managers to go abroad, and he has given the world a completely different idea about Portuguese people.

“Whenever he retires, he will be remembered for a long time because of the work he has done.

“I like him a lot but of course, at 3pm on Saturday, I will try my best to get a result against him.”

Mourinho’s United side are currently trailing in the wake of neighbours Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

But Carvalhal reckons the Red Devils are moving forward.

“Mourinho is a winner,” he added.

“He goes into clubs who have not won much for a while and he makes them win things. This is the kind of challenge he likes I think.

“Sometimes that takes longer than other times, but he is making progress with Manchester United.

“They have already won some trophies and, while they will want to be the No. 1 club, he has taken the team much higher in the league than they were before.”

United will start as hot favourites against the Swans, for they are a formidable force on their own patch.

Only Manchester City have triumphed at United in the league this season, while Mourinho’s team have already won twice at the Liberty this season.

The Swans’ fortunes have improved dramatically of late, however, and Carvalhal is urging his team to believe they can cause an upset tomorrow.

“We have to continue the work we have been doing in the Premier League,” he said.

“We know every game in this league is tough, and different teams will give us different problems.

“Manchester United will give us different problems compared to Tottenham and Brighton before that.

“We must be ready and we must give the correct answers.

“It will be a very, very hard game. If we can get something, we will be very happy. If we don’t, that’s completely normal.

“But if you have one per cent chance, you must have 100 per cent faith, and we will prepare the team to try to get something.”