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Rediff.com  » Sports » Mourinho hopes to avoid injuries on poor pitch in China

Mourinho hopes to avoid injuries on poor pitch in China

July 24, 2016 21:34 IST

IMAGE: Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho during training. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is more worried about avoiding injuries on a poor pitch in Beijing than he is about winning their pre-season derby against Manchester City in the International Champions Cup (ICC).

Mourinho criticised the conditions at the Bird's Nest stadium where torrential rain is forecast for next 24 hours.

"I think Beijing is unlucky because the pitch is very wet," the manager told reporters on Sunday.

"Conditions of my players are more important than the result in pre-season... so if you ask me the objective for tomorrow, I have only one -- take the players home safe without any kind of injures."

The match marks the renewal of the Portuguese's rivalry with current City boss Pep Guardiola, which stems from their days in charge of Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

IMAGE: Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea attends training. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters.

Both said they would shake hands after the game.

"Of course I shake his hands, of course," Mourinho said. "Why shouldn't I?... We are just professional and then we have normal relation. So why shouldn't we shake hands?"

Guardiola struck a similar tone in his news conference a few hours earlier.

"We are polite guys," he said. "Why shouldn't I shake hands with him? No reason why. He wants to win, I want to win, that's all."

United were beaten 4-1 by Borussia Dortmund in their opening game of the tournament in Shanghai on Friday, while City's first game in China is against their local rivals in the first Manchester derby to take place outside Britain.

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