English Premiership

Mourinho ready to go home

2016-07-24 17:03
Jose Mourinho (TEAMtalk)

Beijing - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho revealed on Sunday he was ready to go home as the club's pre-season tour of China threatened to descend into farce.

The final match of their China tour is first Manchester derby outside the UK against City on Monday and Mourinho can't wait for it to be over.

"It is almost the end and we can go home and train in conditions where the players are safe," said Mourinho after a wild couple of days for his squad after they lost 4-1 to Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai on Friday.

Half of Mourinho's players were caught on a plane Saturday which had to make a forced landing between Shanghai and Beijing because of a violent storm in the capital.

Striker Memphis Depay tweeted a video of himself outside the plane in Tianjin, saying they were "lost in China".

"We were supposed to fly in two different planes," Mourinho confirmed to reporters.

"The second group was unlucky as they had a storm and had to land somewhere else for a couple of hours.

"They then arrived at the hotel for dinner at 01:00. The players are good and arrived with a smile."

Doubts over the state of the Bird's Nest Stadium turf for the friendly against City after days of heavy rain meant a hasty switch of training venues Sunday to the nearby Olympic Sports Centre to protect the match pitch.

And with more storms forecast for Sunday night and Monday, the match itself could be in the balance.

"It has been really bad," said International Champions Cup China spokesperson Ben Xiaozheng. "We are hopeful the game will go ahead."

Meanwhile the smaller venue struggled to cope with the invasion of hundreds of reporters, photographers and TV crews to cover United's every move.

Mourinho arrived but refused to attend a news conference in an overcrowded and stifling press room in the bowels of the inadequate facility.

"It was too small, too full and too hot," said a spokesperson for Manchester United's media department.

Finally the Portuguese former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss did agree to answer questions - on the stadium's running track surrounded by a vast media scrum.

Then he comically struggled to be heard among as a few hundred fans chanted from the stands.

Earlier City boss Pep Guardiola had told reporters his number one priority was to avoid any injuries and what could be a treacherous pitch. Mourinho, raising his voice above the melee, agreed.

"I think Beijing is unlucky because the pitch is bad and condition of the players is more important than pre-season," said Mourinho.

"I have one objective for tomorrow, take the players home safe and without injury."

He also played down any simmering animosity between him and Guardiola, following their stints as rivals in Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

"Of course I will shake his hand. Why wouldn't I?" said Mourinho when asked if he would offer his hand to Guardiola.

"We worked together for three years (at Barcelona), we were opponents but we are professionals. I don't see why I wouldn't shake his hand."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 24 February 2018
Leicester City v Stoke City, King Power Stadium 14:30
Liverpool v West Ham United, Anfield 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Swansea City, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Huddersfield Town, The Hawthorns 17:00
Burnley v Southampton, Turf Moor 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle United, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Watford v Everton, Vicarage Road Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 25 February 2018
Manchester United v Chelsea, Old Trafford 16:05
Monday, 26 February 2018
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur, Selhurst Park 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.