When Jose Mourinho arrived at Manchester United, he already had a tough job to win over the fans.
The Portuguese boss has had an indifferent relationship with the United fans in the past, which started when he sprinted down the Old Trafford touchline in March 2004 to celebrate a last-minute goal for his Porto side in the Champions League.
If fans of the Red Devils didn’t like him then, then they certainly didn’t like him when he took charge of Chelsea later that year.
Article continues below
In charge of the Blues, Mourinho went head-to-head with United for the league title for the following three seasons, beating them to the title on two occasions.
So, when he was appointed as Louis van Gaal’s successor, there were understandably a few of the Old Trafford faithful that had their reservations.
Article continues below
Those that weren’t too keen on Mourinho in the first place probably wouldn’t have been won over by recent results - especially after the 4-0 thrashing by Chelsea last weekend.
However, following a 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, Mourinho apologised to the fans for Sunday’s abject performance.
After the match, he then praised the United supporters and took a cheeky dig at Chelsea fans at the same time.
“I think in last seven we lost one but it was a big defeat and numbers that the history of this club does not deserve and my heart belongs to the fans and I felt especially deeply for them," he said.
“But reality is I never had people like these ones. We lost 4-0 and they were supported.
"Today the stadium was full and not full of people, real supporters and it looks like the love that people have for the club is bigger than three bad seasons so we must give something back.
It was a better way to create an absolutely wonderful feeling with fans I’ve never seen like this.
"I’m very happy for them. I don’t care about myself.
"The performance was good – not phenomenal. But what was phenomenal was the spirit and this is the minimum we can give to the fans.”
It’s certainly not the first time Mourinho had taken a swipe at the Chelsea fans.
Whilst in charge of the west London club last season, Mourinho claimed playing at Stamford Bridge was like playing in an “empty stadium” following their 2-1 victory over QPR in November.
"At this moment it's difficult to play at home because playing here is like playing in an empty stadium," he said.
"When we scored was when I realised 'woah, the stadium is full. Good'.
"The team then starts playing like it's quiet, soft game at home.
"I was looking around and it was empty, but not in terms of people because it was obviously full.”
He was regarded as the ‘Special One’ by Chelsea fans whilst at the height of his powers but it’s safe to say his relationship with the Chelsea fans is quickly diminishing.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms