Manchester United test excites Jose Mourinho

21 February 2009 10:38
The former Chelsea coach is in typically bullish mood even though the Serie A leaders have handed the toughest last-16 draw possible after failing to win their group.[LNB]Inter entertain United at the San Siro on Tuesday knowing it is almost half a century since they last won the competition, and in the knowledge they were eliminated by Sir Alex Ferguson's men at the quarter-final stage in 1999 when the Red Devils went on to win the trophy.[LNB]But, despite the Premier League's apparent superiority to Serie A, Mourinho cannot wait.[LNB]"I am actually pleased about that because my team plays better under pressure against the best teams," he told MUTV.[LNB]"We have always done well against Milan or Roma or Juve but sometimes against small teams we are not the same.[LNB]"We have to be at our best if we want to win the tie so I am happy to have such a big team."[LNB]Mourinho feels Inter deserve their fate because of a woeful end to the group phase that saw them collect just one point from their final three games, allowing Panathinaikos to seal a meeting with Villarreal, who finished runners-up to United.[LNB]It is now 18 months since Mourinho was unceremoniously dumped by Chelsea.[LNB]Many pundits now believe he is the number one candidate to replace Sir Alex Ferguson when the Scot eventually calls time on his amazing career.[LNB]He admits life in Italy is not the same as in England, although he does feel he is embarking on the biggest challenge of his entire career.[LNB]"I used to say the Premier League was more about heart and emotion," he said. "Serie A is more about brains and tactics.[LNB]"Every team in Italy is strong defensively. Every game is about tactics.[LNB]"It is not as beautiful as the Premier League. That is one of the reasons why the Premier League is loved around the world and Serie A is loved in Italy.[LNB]"It is more about the mentality and culture. But this is a really big challenge, the biggest of my career." [LNB]

Source: Telegraph