Mourinho exclusively tells Sky Sports News: "I miss football. I miss our world."
Friday 1 May 2020 15:31, UK
When Jose Mourinho arrives at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, masked and carrying vegetables, it's a picture of the 'new normal'.
In football's absence, he is volunteering to help harvest fresh produce from the club's training ground. He delivers it to the stadium, where it is distributed to those in the local community identified as most in-need during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
"I miss football," the Spurs head coach tells Sky Sports News, now seven weeks since he last took charge of a match here.
"But I prefer to say I miss our world, like I think we all do. Football is just part of my world. But we have to be patient, this is a fight that we all have to fight."
Spurs' stadium has already opened its doors to patients of North Middlesex Hospital's Women's Outpatient Services. It leaves Mourinho feeling "strange and emotional" when he walks in the dressing room.
"You try to visualise what the normal day is here, the pre-match, the match, after the match, then you come here and just see an incredible hospital facility," he says. "I think it's just fantastic."
Football remains suspended indefinitely in England, but imagining its return offers "light at the end of the tunnel" for Mourinho.
The Premier League will hold further talks this week as it targets a return behind closed doors in June. Sport will only resume when the government is satisfied its own measures are in place.
When it does, Mourinho wants to finish the 2019/20 Premier League season.
"If we play the remaining nine matches this season it will be good for every one of us," he says.
"It will be good for football, for the Premier League.
"If we play football behind closed doors I'd like to think that football is never behind closed doors. With cameras, it means that millions and millions are watching. So if one day we walk into this empty stadium, it will not be empty, not at all."
Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko and Steven Bergwijn have all recovered from their long-term injuries, but Mourinho is uncertain how long it will be before they play once football does return.
"For them, it's many, many weeks of injury, and when the injury was arriving at an end, we stopped training," he says. "I don't know, they don't know, we have to wait for the right permission for them to train again in groups to see if they can come back to a normal competition level."
Mourinho accepted he was wrong to hold a personal training session with Tanguy Ndombele in a public park earlier this month. Training is focused on individuals though Spurs have made "a number of pitches" available to players at their Hotspur Way training centre this week.
"It's a positive feeling for the boys to have the chance to smell grass again," he says.
Mourinho has been living with three other Spurs coaches during lockdown. He says "time flies" as they spend most of their days working, leaving little time for cooking.
"I'm the fried egg specialist," he says. "The other guys are a bit better than I am."
The difficult period has given Mourinho pause, though. He admits he is "watching matches I never did in my life".
Thursday marks the 15-year anniversary since he first won the Premier League title when Chelsea beat Bolton 2-0 in 2005. But he doesn't get bogged down in dates.
"I prefer to think that I'm going to have a fourth Premier League trophy," he says. "I have three, I prefer to think I'll have four."