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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has called for calm and respect between both sets of fans ahead of Monday night’s clash with Liverpool at Anfield.
Recent fixtures between the two bitter rivals have been marred by unsavoury references to the Munich and Hillsborough tragedies and Mourinho has called for the antagonism to end.
"In football we have some football tragedies, if you can say that, which is a big match that you lost, the mistake that some player did, this kind of thing, and you can make fun of it in a positive way," he said.
"But the human tragedy is something much more serious. It's the last thing somebody should use on a football pitch because they were really big tragedies, not to forget but to respect. I will be really sad in such a big football match if that was a negative point."
Much attention will be focussed on Wayne Rooney on his return to Merseyside. The former Everton striker scored the winner in United’s 1-0 victory at Anfield last year as he netted his fifth goal in four January games to cap a blistering run of form and hand United their fourth win over Liverpool in succession.
His fortunes have dipped somewhat in the meantime, but Mourinho backed his striker in the week where he lost the England captaincy to Jordan Henderson.
"England's not my problem," Mourinho added. "[His mental state] It's good, he's prepared. He's training well, he's positive."
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