Jose Mourinho has told Spurs fans that he knows what a North London Derby means to them and insisted that beating Arsenal is just as important to him as it is to them.
Mourinho has always had a reputation of wearing his heart on his sleeve, which is one of the reasons he is hated by rivals of the clubs which he has managed in his career.
Barcelona and Juventus fans certainly seem to have little time for the Portuguese coach due to the rivalry he fostered with the clubs during his time at Real Madrid and Inter Milan respectively (Bleacher Report).
The Tottenham boss has never had a particularly good relationship with Arsenal fans, rarely failing to boast of the terrific record that he has against the Gunners in his managerial career.
Ahead of his first North London derby as Spurs head coach, the 57-year-old has assured the fans that he shares the same desire to get one over their local rivals.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the clash, Mourinho said: “When I am in a club, I like to be one of them and I like to feel what my people feel.
“It’s a new feeling for me when I move from club to club, but I learn that feeling very, very fast. I would say that the moment I put my foot in a club for the first time, I learn it automatically.
“So yes, I am one of them. In this case, one of us, which is Tottenham people. What is important for the fans is important for me.
“When I go to a derby as Inter manager, I know what it means for them. When I go as Real Madrid manager, I know what it means for them. And when I go as Tottenham manager, I know what it means for them.
“They can count on me to have exactly the same feelings, the same desire and the same passion that they have.
“When you are a player or a coach of a certain team, it cannot just be a job for you. You must have a sense of duty and a responsibility towards the people who love your club.
“For me, my club, my passion, my love, is the club where I am. In this moment, if you ask me if I know how important it is for Tottenham fans to look at their biggest rivals, then of course I know it and of course I share it.”
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Jose certainly has experience of being part of some big derby clashes, which should hold him in good stead for Sunday. He will know that the form book will go out of the window and that the team who control their emotions better will usually come out on top.
However, the one thing that has been evident since the restart of the top leagues in Europe is that derby games simply do not have the same intensity without fans in the stadium. So perhaps, the game will not be played at the tempo that North London Derbies usually are.
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