‘I smile’ - Jose Mourinho makes Newcastle United admission amid managerial links

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Jose Mourinho has been touted as a possible successor to Eddie Howe at Newcastle United

Jose Mourinho has admitted St James' Park was his bogey destination as a Premier League manager.

Remarkably, the Portuguese tactician managed just one league win on Tyneside - a 3-1 triumph in front of an empty stadium during the Covid-19 pandemic. He did earn wins over Newcastle United in the 2004-05 and 2006-07 League Cup campaigns but struggled to repeat those heroics at Premier League level.

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Mourinho - a free agent following his Roma sacking - opened up about his Toon woes amid speculation regarding a possible Newcastle move. Eddie Howe maintains the backing of the Magpies’ hierarchy but a fairytale story appointment at St James’ Park, given his Sir Bobby Robson connections, has refused to go away.

"I didn't enjoy playing in Newcastle," Mourinho told the Vibe with Five podcast. "I never won. Every time I was going to Newcastle, it was lose or draw, lose or draw. I won there with Chelsea and Tottenham.

“But out of 10, I would win once or twice. There was no rivalry with (Alan) Pardew or (Sam) Allardyce or any one of them there. I just knew going to play at St James' was really hard.”

The 61-year-old opened up about his emotional relationship with Robson, who mentored him at Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona. Mourinho was initially employed as an interpreter but his aptitude for coaching quickly became clear.

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"Every time I think about him or speak about him, because I speak about him a lot with friends or family, I smile or tears (start) coming a little bit,” he added. “I had things with him that were quite unique. Every time he was having lunch or dinner with me, he paid. I didn't pay once and he was always saying, 'I have more money than you and fewer years than you to spend.'"

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