Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Jose Hopes the Reds Can Change Their Toon

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Jose Hopes the Reds Can Change Their Toon

Article excerpt

'YOUR coat's from Matalan!' the Geordies chanted as Jose Mourinho leapt out of his heated seat and prowled the touchline at St James' Park.

The Portuguese had long established himself as one of football's most fashionable figures back in 2004 and had packed his Sunday best for Chelsea's FA clash against Newcastle in typically freezing temperatures up north.

And when the home support took exception to his threads - Armani, no less - Mourinho played to the gallery as he pointed to the designer label on his jacket.

The grey number, complete with cashmere scarf, proved a lucky charm as Mourinho marked his first visit to St James' with his first ever win against Newcastle. Easy, right? Remarkably, though, the Portuguese has never tasted victory in the league at St James' despite three spells in England and he has managed more away league games at Newcastle without winning than at any other club in his entire career.

In nine attempts in all competitions, Mourinho has led his side to victory on just two occasions in the League Cup in 2004 and 2006. But, surely, that league hoodoo will end on Sunday when he comes up against old foe Rafa Benitez? Newcastle have not won a league game at St James' since October 21 - losing five and drawing three - which is on the verge of equalling their worst ever run, when they went nine home games without a win in August, 1999. One Ruud Gullit was manager then.

But there is a reason why NE1 has been an unhappy hunting ground for Mourinho.

As well as a vociferous home support, and a side who have regularly upped their game when Mourinho's sides have come to town in the past, the club have used a couple of tricks to try and get the better of opponents before the whistle even goes.

In the away dressing room, for example, there are no clocks or lockers for players to put their prized belongings. …

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