Mourinho expects tough time from fans
Madrid - Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho was in a defiant mood as he spoke to the press ahead of the Madrid derby against Atletico Madrid.
Mourinho was booed by a section of Real Madrid fans in his side’s Copa del Rey win at home to Alcoyano on Wednesday night that came in the wake of his side’s 0-1 defeat to Betis last weekend, which leaves them 11 points behind FC Barcelona in the race for the La Liga title, reports Xinhua.
The past week has seen increased speculation over Mourinho’s future at the club as it seems increasingly likely he will abandon the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the campaign.
Meanwhile, it seems Mourinho is steeling himself for another rough ride from the home fans.
“I have been in the game long enough for it not to affect me. I hope that the fans support the team and help them win the game,” he said.
“If people want to boo me, I will be out there at 21:20 (it is a 22:00 kickoff). If people want to boo me, I’ll be there and I will accept calmly and with humility. It seems it has become a national pastime to criticise me. I accept that because I make people happy,” said Mourinho.
“This is a game to enjoy. If you win, you enjoy it a lot and if you lose, then you are also happy in the end. I enjoy the 90 minutes,” he said.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone, whose side are currently eight points ahead of Real Madrid, have failed to beat their rivals since 1999.
“We are not thinking about the numbers, we know that all runs must come to an end. We have to be prepared and determined. I am not thinking about the past, we are going to try and win the three points,” said Simeone.
“We know how much the fans want to win and we are not alien to those feelings but we are up against a strong team who are the reigning champions,” he said.
“The derby is fantastic, it is exciting, but there are just three points up for grabs. We have to show we can compete and are able to play a good game. Real Madrid need points and I look at our rivals, bearing in mind the players they have rather than their position in the league,” said Simeone.