Sporting promise to teach Mourinho some 'respect'

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The Independent Football

Having had his say on the Premier League title race – that only Manchester United can catch Chelsea and that they won't unless they buck up their ideas – Jose Mourinho turns his attention back to La Liga tomorrow with a potentially rough ride awaiting him and Real Madrid at Sporting Gijon.

Sporting's coach Manuel Preciado called a Mourinho a "swine" and a "bad fellow coach" in the build-up to the game because of comments the Portuguese made earlier in the season when he accused Preciado of playing a weakened team against Barcelona.

Mourinho upset Preciado again this week by repeating his original remarks. "A team should not gift another team a match, they should always play to the maximum," he said. "In England you cannot do it because you will be punished." Sporting lost September's match at the Nou Camp 1-0.

In response Preciado responded yesterday said: "It is not just that he said it once but that he has now repeated and elaborated on his comments. There can only be three reasons why he said it in the first place. If it was a joke it wasn't funny, if it was to provoke Barça it won't, and if he really meant it then he is a real swine. He is a bad fellow coach. Who the hell is he to say this? If no one in Madrid will teach him respect then I will."

In Italy, Rafa Benitez goes into his biggest game so far as Internazionale coach hoping the Milan derby will put his team level with their biggest rivals in the table and not cast them six points adrift. Inter have drawn their last two games and defeat tomorrow could leave them fifth in Serie A.