Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believes Jose Mourinho deserves more credit for his work this season and does not think his Manchester United counterpart needs to prove his credentials as one of the world’s best.
Pre-season hopes that United could challenge for the Premier League failed to come to fruition, while the Red Devils were dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla in the last 16.
Put to Pochettino that Mourinho has not enjoyed the kind of plaudits he, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp have been afforded, the former Southampton coach insisted there was no questioning the Portuguese’s quality.
“For me, Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world,” he said. “I don’t think he needs to show anyone that he is one of the best.
“Manchester United, for me, are having a fantastic season. Of course they will be disappointed like us to be out of the Champions League – it was massive obviously for them and for us.
“Yes we are in a similar position. They are better than us because they have more points in the Premier League.
“For me, he is doing a fantastic show in his second season in Manchester.”
Tottenham meet United in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday, with a much-changed Red Devils side having bounced back from a 1-0 home defeat to West Brom last weekend with a 2-0 win at Bournemouth on Wednesday.
And Pochettino says his players must be ready for whatever XI Mourinho opts for at Wembley.
“I’m sure that the team that will play against us on Saturday will be tough,” he added. “It will be a tough game to play, they have an unbelievable squad.
“Of course Mourinho is a great manager who will know what he needs to do and I think it’s an exciting semi-final because both teams are going to play to try to get to the final.”
Asked which of the four semi-finalists needed the trophy most, Pochettino said: “It’s fantastic Southampton, Chelsea, Manchester United or Tottenham will win the title, but it’s not going to change our life.
“Who needs it more? I don’t know.
“Every team is going to fight to try to win but it’s not about need, it’s about a title that would be a fantastic finish to the season.
“But it’s not about who needs the trophy more.”