Thibaut Courtois says the return of Jose Mourinho is not a motivating factor for his team-mates when they play Manchester United on Nissan Super Sunday
Jose Mourinho will not be motivated by revenge when he returns to Chelsea with Manchester United, according to Thibaut Courtois.
Mourinho, who spent five years at Chelsea over two spells, returns to Stamford Bridge for only the second time as an opposition manager when United face Chelsea live on Sky Sports 1 on Nissan Super Sunday.
Courtois played a key role in Mourinho’s title-winning Chelsea team during the 2014/15 season before their form nosedived and Mourinho was sacked in December last season, seven months after landing the Premier League title.
“I don’t think he has a revenge feeling in him,” Courtois told Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves.
“I think he just wants to show everyone he’s a good manager and he wants to do well for his current team.
“If you want to do well with your current team then you have to win big games. He wants to win. We want to win. I don’t think the players have a feeling they want to win because of him – players just want to win because we play a top team in Manchester United. It’s a special game.”
Following Mourinho’s sacking, the club’s technical director, Michael Emenalo, said Mourinho was sacked because of a “palpable discord” between him and the players.
However, Courtois, who was given his Chelsea debut by Mourinho, has no bitter feelings towards the United manager and says he relished playing under him.
“I think he’s a top manager,” he said.
“I was happy to work under him. He brought me back [from a loan spell at Atletico Madrid], played me and then we became champions. That was very good. But it didn’t work out in the second year.
“Everybody wasn’t at their best level after being champions but that won’t affect the relationship I had with him before.
“I will always be thankful for bringing me back and playing me. It’s always nice to play under top managers. You learn a lot from them.”