(Reuters) – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his motivation ahead of his side’s derby clash with Manchester City on Saturday is solely on ensuring his side take a step closer to finishing second in the Premier League.
United travel across the city to the Etihad Stadium trailing their great rivals City by 16 points, knowing that defeat will ensure City secure their third league title in record time.
However, preventing City from breaking that record with six games to spare is not something Mourinho is focusing on, the Portuguese said. Instead, he is only concerned with his own side’s aspirations.
“My motivation is to finish second, I still have the motivation of finishing top four, mathematically it is not done,” Mourinho said.
“That’s the first objective. But after that I don’t hide. We have been second for many many months.
“It is our objective to fight for that, and for that we need points. My objective for tomorrow is (to) try to have points to finish second.”
Mourinho was particularly guarded when asked whether he felt United had beaten City to the signing of Alexis Sanchez in January.
City almost signed Sanchez last summer, having made a bid for the Chile international, and it was reported in the British press that City would come back with a fresh bid in January.
However, it was United who secured Sanchez’s services. Mourinho, though, would not be drawn on whether he felt United had got one over on City.
“Did they spend money in January? Did they? Do you know that? Can you confirm that? I don’t know, I have no idea if they were interested (in Sanchez) or not, I’ve no idea,” Mourinho said.
Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Hugh Lawson