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'GINGER MOURINHO' ON FACING THE REAL MOURINHO

23 September 2015

Walsall vs. Chelsea at the Banks's tonight...

IT’S the ‘Ginger Mourinho’ against the real Mourinho at the Banks’s tonight as Walsall host Chelsea in the Capital One Cup third round.

Saddlers boss Dean Smith is often compared to his Chelsea counterpart in WS1, although he has never faced him as a player or manager.

Blues chief Jose Mourinho is one of the most successful managers in the world, having won 22 major honours (including three League Cups) in a glittering 15-year career.

And ahead of this evening’s cup clash, Smith says he is looking forward to his first-ever meeting with the charismatic Portuguese.

“Jose’s a top manager – he’s won Champions Leagues and Premier Leagues,” said Smith.

“You look at the likes of him and Sir Alex Ferguson – people who have been successful at the top of the game – and you try to pick little bits from what they do.

“You’ve got to be yourself, and it’s good to test yourself against the best.

“Jose’s one of the best known coaches in the world, and our fans relate that to me by the fact I’ve got ginger hair!

“I don’t think Chelsea’s fans will call be calling him ‘Grey Smith’ will they?

“When it first came out it was a wee bit embarrassing, but if they’re likening me to one of the top coaches in the world then it’s very flattering.”

And Smith has told his players to savour the occasion.

“This is an opportunity for us,” said Smith.

“The players know that and they are looking forward to it.

“It is going to be a test for them but it is one that players at our level want to have.

“They are good characters and they want to test themselves against the best.

“It is their chance to make some history for themselves.”

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