Jose Mourinho is unconcerned over what reception he will receive when he returns to Stamford Bridge as Manchester United manager and will continue to cherish fond memories from his time in charge of Chelsea.
Mourinho’s second stint as Blues boss came to a dramatic end last December, with the club’s defence of a third Premier League crown under his stewardship in tatters.
The 53-year-old Portuguese led Inter to victory over Chelsea on his way to collecting the Champions League in 2010 and will once again be completely focused on the task at hand.
“To say I care is not true because, to be honest, I think when I go to a football match I’m not focused on that, I am more focused on the game,” he said.
“I try to prepare myself for the matches so I cannot say that I care. What can I expect? I don’t know.
“They [Chelsea fans] can think about me and remember our great relation hip and have a good reaction.
“They can look at me for 90 minutes and think he is Manchester United manager and he is playing against us so he’s not somebody that we like at this moment.
“I did my job and they gave me their love and they gave me their support. That is the most important thing.
“If now I go there as Man United manager and they decide to have a different approach, I will always respect that.
“From me, what you are not going to have, ever is a bad word about any one of my pervious clubs, any one of the fans who always supported me.
“I keep always a very good feeling and it doesn’t matter what is going to happen.
“It is my nature to go there and try to do my job with my new club.”
He added: “I don’t like to go back and speak specially about the bad things. I keep the good things and at Chelsea there were so many good things – good things in terms of results, good things in terms of relationships I have for life.
“I have an amazing empathy with the supporters. The supporters did not change their relationship with me because the last season was a couple of months with bad results. So I keep all these good memories for myself.”
United lie seventh in the Premier League table, five points shy of leaders Manchester City and Arsenal after drawing with fourth-place Liverpool on Monday.
Chelsea are a point and a place below Liverpool in fifth and the congested upper-reaches of the table at this stage mean Mourinho believes the title race will be incredibly hard to call.
“You look to the table and the distances are so short and it looks like the team that wins three matches in a row is immediately in the top three or four,” he said.
“The team that has a bad run of results, just a couple, goes immediately outside the top four.
“It will be close and probably one team who you think is playing for the title in March, probably in May doesn’t finish in the top four.
“I am not a gambler but if I was I wouldn’t bet a lot on the title or the top four because it is a big risk to lose money.”