Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho.
Football friends

Mourinho on facing Lampard: 'I will always love the guy. I hope he loses on Sunday'

The Tottenham manager doesn’t intend to invite his former star for a post-match drink, but only for practical reasons.

JOSE MOURINHO SAYS he loves Frank Lampard but wants him to lose on Sunday when Chelsea visit Tottenham in a key battle for a top-four place in the Premier League.

Mourinho’s Spurs have cut the gap to Lampard’s fourth-placed Chelsea down to three points since the Portuguese replaced Mauricio Pochettino last month.

Last season saw Derby County, who were then led by Lampard, dump Manchester United out of the EFL Cup before Mourinho was sacked at Old Trafford.

Sunday’s match will be the first Premier League game with Mourinho and Lampard in opposing dugouts, the pair having had great success together at Chelsea.

Asked if he will invite the Blues boss for a post-match drink, Mourinho told reporters: ”I don’t think so because our stadium is built in the way that our office is completely on the inside of our private headquarters.

“Until now I didn’t invite any managers to go there and I don’t think I’ll do that with Frank.

“But like I used to say, a big hug before the game and another after the game, that’s for sure, independent of results and who is happy.

“I think our feelings will be forever. I’ll always be grateful to him for what he gave me as a player. Nothing is going to change that.

“I love the guy, I will always love the guy. I hope he loses on Sunday.

“I lost against Frank last year, I lost. I don’t get an extra buzz [from facing former players] at all.”

Chelsea have lost form of late and they head across London to Spurs having lost four of their past seven games across all competitions, but Mourinho played down his old team’s recent problems.

“It’s a collapse that keeps them fourth in the Premier League and still in the Champions League, playing an amazing knockout [last-16 tie] against Bayern Munich,” he added.

“If that’s a collapse, it’s not a bad collapse. They’re fine.”

Mourinho also confirmed Tottenham’s club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele will be fit enough to play against Chelsea after being sidelined recently by a groin injury.

“He is a player with a lot of quality, just needs to be physically strong and mentally adapted to the Premier League,” Mourinho said of the former Lyon midfielder.

“The French league is a completely different story, a completely different profile. But [he is a] fantastic talent so we are happy that he can help us.”

- Omni

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