Benitez refuses to talk up rivalry with Mourinho

Date published: Friday 17th November 2017 3:41

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is more worried about Manchester United’s players than his rivalry with Jose Mourinho as the pair prepare to go head-to-head in the Premier League once again.

The two managers, who have both been in charge at Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, have at times been on less than friendly terms in the past after becoming embroiled in a series of spats.

However, Benitez has spent the international break preparing for what will happen on the pitch as opposed to the sideline as he attempts to bounce back from successive league defeats.

He said: “We will play against Manchester United. It’s not the key, one manager or the two managers. Mourinho has won a lot of trophies in different countries with a lot of teams, so he’s a good manager, and that’s it.

“We will play against Manchester United and I am really concerned about (Romelu) Lukaku, (Juan) Mata, (Ander) Herrera, (Nemanja) Matic, (Marcus) Rashford, (Anthony) Martial – that’s my main concern.”

Mourinho suggested earlier this week that the war of words between the two men arose because they were fighting each other for major prizes at the time, and the Magpies boss insisted he would have no problem sharing a post-match glass of wine with his old adversary.

He said: “I don’t have any problem to do with any one because I’m a professional and I know my job.”

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