Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho will lock horns again in the Premier League after the form Man Utd boss was appointed by Tottenham

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho will lock horns again in the Premier League after the form Man Utd boss was appointed by Tottenham (AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hailed Jose Mourinho as an ‘incredible’ manager following his appointment as Tottenham’s  new boss.

The 56-year-old replaced the outgoing Mauricio Pochettino, less than five months after the Argentine had led the north London club to the Champions League final for the first time in their history, beating City in the quarter finals en route.

Guardiola is confident Mourinho will succeed in his new job, despite the acrimonious end to his Manchester United tenure, but reserved a measure of sympathy for the man he has succeeded.

‘You know him better than me, said the City manager. ‘He was many years here in different clubs. welcome back.

‘An incredible manager and I’m pretty sure he’ll do a good job. I was a little surprised with Mauricio because he had done an incredible job and the club was better.


Man City will look to get their Premier League title defence back on track against Frank Lampard's Chelsea on Saturday

Man City will look to get their Premier League title defence back on track against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea on Saturday (Picture: Getty)

‘Always the managers when they leave it is to know if the club and team are better than when they take over and I think it happened but decisions are made and there is nothing else to say.’

City return to Premier League action on Saturday against Chelsea, who are now Liverpool’s closest challengers, along with Leicester, at the top of the table following the champions 3-1 defeat at Anfield prior to the international break.

Given his lack of experience prior to taking the manager’s role at Chelsea, the club at which he established his reputation as world class midfielder during his playing days, comparisons have been made between Lampard and Guardiola, who enjoyed near unprecedented success at Barcelona as both player and coach.

‘Yeah in those terms it is quite similar,’ he said. ‘You could say a little bit but it is too early. He has been a manager for a year and a half and I am a little longer because I am a little older but he has his future in his hands.

‘From my experience, experience doesn’t count much. I would say that when you know the club it is a good advantage and Lampard knows Chelsea perfectly and everything behind the scenes – media, fans, players – so that is good. When I arrived not many people trusted me, honestly.

‘Few, few people. Maybe the president, sporting director and not many. Maybe Frank was similar at Derby. He didn’t take results and people said he didn’t have experience. At the start when nobody trusts you it is perfect because you win every game – you cannot lose more.

‘The problem is when you have won titles and nothing is enough. In case for Frank, it is perfect, an ideal situation.

‘At the big clubs you have incredible players so it is easier to do a good job in Chelsea or Barcelona than another club. If you work a lot and have patience, the results and success can come.’

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