London: Jose Mourinho is said to have hidden in a laundry basket when he was hit with a stadium ban 10 years ago but on Saturday he might be found on a street corner near Stoke City's ground.
Mourinho will not be allowed inside the Britannia Stadium for the Premier League game after deciding not to appeal a one-match ban imposed for comments he made to the referee during halftime in last month's loss to West Ham United.
He will travel on the coach with the squad, but will have to make alternative arrangements for keeping in touch with his side's progress as they seek a welcome three points.
A bristly Mourinho refused to confirm at his Friday news conference whether he had indeed defied a stadium ban in 2005 by hiding in a laundry basket during a Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich.
Asked how the stadium ban would play out, he said: "I will travel with the players and will be with them until the moment someone stops me which is I think when I'm in the limit of the compound or the stadium or the facility. I don't know where I will watch the game. Maybe I sit in a street corner with my iPad, I don't know, maybe I don't even watch the game, because I can't contact (my assistants) so what's the point?"
Mourinho said he has run through every scenario with his assistants Steve Holland, Rui Faria and Silvino Louro for Saturday's game, and will be fully responsible for what transpires despite being absent. "If after 10 minutes we are playing with seven men my assistants won't be prepared for that and they will have to decide for themselves," Mourinho said.
"We've looked at the most incredible scenarios, you can imagine from winning 4-0, losing 4-0 and between that you have 1,000 options, injuries, red cards to the keeper, right back, striker, the winger, we went through them all and are prepared. What is most important is that the players and assistants feel protected by the fact that it's my responsibility and it's just for the players to play and for the assistants to be with them and be supportive with them," he added.
Mourinho, whose champions have lost six of their opening 11 Premier league games and sit 15th, said he had not appealed against the ban because "it's stupid to fight a fight you know you will lose" but suggested that more managers will be banned from stadiums if the current trend continues. Stadium bans should be related to something really serious in terms of aggressivity. This is connected to words, to complaints," he said. "In the future the stadium bans will happen a lot of times unless our association and those around Europe question in a very serious and legal way about the rights of the managers."