March 26, 2018 / 5:42 AM / 6 months ago

Carvalhal praises Mourinho fighting spirit ahead of clash

(Reuters) - Swansea City boss Carlos Carvalhal believes Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho thrives “when he is fighting” amid talk of rifts at Old Trafford.

Soccer Football - International Friendly - Scotland vs Costa Rica - Hampden Park, Glasgow, Britain - March 23, 2018 Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho in the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

Mourinho has been outspoken in his criticism of several United players including record signing Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw, who was substituted at halftime in the FA Cup victory over Brighton and Hove Albion earlier this month.

Carvalhal accepts he shares some similarities with his fellow Portuguese Mourinho but said the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss uses a more confrontational approach and is at his most dangerous when presented a challenge.

Soccer Football - FA Cup Quarter Final - Swansea City vs Tottenham Hotspur - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - March 17, 2018 Swansea City manager Carlos Carvalhal reacts REUTERS/Darren Staples

“I like Mourinho and he knows that I like him,” Carvalhal told British media. “I spent a week at Manchester United when Alex Ferguson was there, then a week watching Mourinho at Chelsea. I also went to Real Madrid.

“I tried to learn with the best. He has a big self-confidence, like I do. You need that. But he is a completely different personality to me. He likes confrontation. He likes to fight with people. And he’s very good when he is fighting.

“I am completely different. I like to keep far away from the fight. I like to win, but, if someone tries to fight with me, they will find they are fighting with themselves.”

Carvalhal is preparing Swansea for a trip to United on Saturday and knows a surprise victory would be crucial in their battle for Premier League survival with eight matches remaining.

The Welsh club are currently 14th in the standings and three point clear of relegation zone, while second-placed United are 16 points adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru

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