Zola backs Mourinho to return to management soon following Man Utd dismissal

The Chelsea assistant manager believes that the Special One will be back in the dugout in no time

Gianfranco Zola has backed Jose Mourinho to make a quick return to management following his sacking as Manchester United boss.

The Portuguese manager was relieved of his duties at Old Trafford on Tuesday morning following a difficult period for the club that culminated in a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

United lie sixth in the Premier League table, 11 points behind fourth placed Chelsea, where Zola is assistant manager, and 19 points behind Liverpool, who occupy the summit.

Commenting on Mourinho’s departure during a press conference ahead of the Blues’ Carabao Cup quarter-final clash with Bournemouth, Zola backed the Special One to return to management sooner rather than later.

The 52-year-old said: “It’s never pleasant to see a coach being dismissed from a job, especially someone like Jose who has won so much in the game and so much for this club.

“I want to wish him all the best. I’m sure he will soon have another adventure somewhere else.”

Mourinho’s last job before taking the hot seat at United was at Chelsea, where he went on to win a third Premier League title during his second stint at Stamford Bridge.

Following a disappointing start to the 2015-16 campaign Mourinho was given the axe by the Blues in December of that season.

In his press conference, Zola also suggested that Chelsea’s ambitions under Maurizio Sarri were long term, and did not hinge on the Italian winning a trophy in his maiden season in the English game.

The Blues’ legend said: “We certainly want to achieve something but the aim is to become one of the best teams in the country and in Europe.”

Chelsea face Bournemouth on Wednesday night in the last eight of the Carabao Cup, and ensured their progression through to the knockout stages of the Europa League after an unbeaten run during the group stages.

The Londoners have been drawn to face Malmo in the next round of the competition, with the Swedish side currently placed third in their domestic league.

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