Manchester United manager José Mourinho believes he deserves an award for being the best-behaved boss in England's top flight. Mou, whose team visit Newcastle United this afternoon, has been involved in numerous confrontations with officials during his career. However, the Portuguese tactician feels he has changed his ways – and deserves to be rewarded for doing so.
Happy, serious and well behaved
"I'm fully committed to win the award this season of the best-behaved manager on the touchline," he said on the eve of the game. "I'm serious – I prepare myself, I'm really happy. I'm not free of losing my temper, my control, in one match. I'm not perfect. There are so many awards – performance of the week, manager of the month and this and that – they should give one to the guy that behaves best on the touchline and it should be the fourth official to vote. I'm pretty sure that I would win."
United are second – 16 points behind Manchester City – ahead of their trip to Newcastle. It shapes as another chance for January arrival Alexis Sánchez to shine for United after the Chilean was fouled seven times in a win over Huddersfield last time out.
Alexis can handle himself, say Mou
But Mourinho was unwilling to criticise officials or call for greater protection of his star attacker. "Maybe his manager should cry a little more in situations like that but Alexis is a tough boy, he can cope with that sort of welcome," he said. "I think to an extent he is bound to be targeted by defenders because he is a talented player and an obvious danger to opponents. Defenders are not going to let the most skilful players play with freedom, that's the nature of the game. But I don't like using the word protect because it sounds like I am only concerned about the top players. On the pitch every player is the same and it is the referee's job to protect them equally."