Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he will not “celebrate like a crazy kid” if his new team score against his former club Chelsea.
Sunday’s Premier League fixture is only Mourinho’s second trip to Stamford Bridge as an opposition boss.
He won there with Inter Milan in 2010, before his second spell with the Blues in which he added a third league title to his trophy haul in west London.
“I have the maturity to control the emotion,” said Mourinho.
“If my team score a goal am I going to celebrate like a crazy kid? No.
“Am I going to have a negative reaction if the crowd has something negative with me? No.”
Sunday will be Mourinho’s first appearance at Stamford Bridge since he was sacked in December 2015, with the club 16th in the Premier League.
I think he deserves a good reception, because he wrote with the club, with his players, with the staff part of the story of this club Chelsea manager Antonio Conte
It is also the first time he has been back since Mourinho settled a discrimination claim with former Chelsea physio Eva Carneiro, following the Portuguese’s furious reaction to her going on the pitch to treat Eden Hazard in a game against Swansea in August 2015.
“When some managers leave clubs, they like to ‘wash the dirty clothes’, to go back and speak and speak and speak about what happened.
“I leave clubs with a very good feeling. I gave everything to the club. I want to keep the good memories – and at Chelsea I had so many.
“The other things – I don’t forget, I keep. But I keep it to myself.”
Twice Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich appointed Mourinho as his manager. On both occasions he was rewarded with Premier League titles.
Yet twice the mega-rich Russian sacked him.
The United boss says the pair were never close. “We always had the relationship of owner-manager,” said Mourinho.
“It was a very respectful relationship but he was never my friend. We were never close to each other.”
Mourinho, won three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and three League Cups during his two spells at Chelsea, says he is unconcerned about the reception from fans.
“I cannot say I care because I have a job to do and I will be more focused on the game,” he said.
“What do I expect? I don’t know. They could think about me, remember our great relationship and have a good reaction. They could look at me and say ‘for 90 minutes he is Manchester United manager and he is playing against us, so he is not someone we like’.
“I will always respect them.”
Mourinho’s return apart, Sunday’s game is important for two clubs seeking to re-establish their Champions League credentials.
Both clubs have won the title within the past four years, but neither made the top four last season and they are both outside it going into this weekend’s game – Chelsea fifth and United two places further back.
They have each lost two of their eight games but know if results go their way, they could be in the top four by Sunday night.
Mourinho said: “I am not a gambler but if I was, I wouldn’t bet a lot on the title or top four because there is a big risk of losing money.
“The distances are so short. A team that wins three in a row is immediately in the top three or four. And the team that has a bad run for just a couple of results goes immediately outside the top four.
“My feeling is it will be close and probably one team that you think is playing for the title in March, probably in May doesn’t finish in the top four.”
‘Mourinho deserves a good reception’
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says his counterpart should be given a warm welcome when he arrives at Stamford Bridge.
The Italian was appointed Mourinho’s permanent successor in April and began his job in July.
“I have great respect for him,” said Conte.
“He won three championships and I think he was an important man for the club.
“I think he deserves a good reception, because he wrote with the club, with his players, with the staff part of the story of this club.”