Moody Mourinho looks to cure Madrid's premature ejection by beating Spurs

José Mourinho is looking mean and moody on the front cover of Monday’s edition of AS. Then again, the Madrid manager is always looking mean and moody. But in this particular photograph it looks as if Mourinho had spent the past two months living next door to The Libertines in their drug-addled pomp and is about to blast the band’s front door down with a shotgun.

Scowling, unshaven and with his arms crossed, Mourinho is being backed up on the photograph by Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa, two former Scousers who also with arms crossed, looking stern. It’s only Ricardo Carvalho who lets the Real Madrid side down, looking sheepish to the right of the frame with a spooky grin like a pre mind-enhanced Lawnmower man.

“Don’t leave us on our own!” cries the banner in AS, in yet another attempt to get the Bernabeu to make some noise - Grooverider whistle posse and all - in the Champions League. The same approach from the marketing department was attempted before the last sixteen clash with Lyon and it seemed to work,  so the club is going for it again for Tottenham’s visit.

‘Tis true that the Bernabeu can be a tough crowd for the home side in the best of times, but there is extra pressure now, due to the club’s premature ejection from the title race with the defeat against Sporting on Saturday evening.

Although the power of Florentino Pérez sees Mourinho protected from the kind of treatment dished out to Manuel Pellegrini when he failed in the Copa del Rey and Champions League last season - two crimes the Chilean is still being punished for - The Special One is very much expected to get past a beatable team like Spurs to reach the semi-finals and face Barcelona.

Yet during Monday’s press conference Mourinho claims it was Spurs who would be under the most pressure in the quarter-final clash, as Madrid have already won the title nine times compared to Tottenham’s zero.

The two times Champions League winner appears to have already moved on from Saturday’s disappointment in la Liga and reminded everyone present that it was this competition that “was the most important tournament in the world for clubs”. “How many times have you played a quarter-final?” asked Mourinho to his side-kick for the afternoon, Gonzalo Higuaín. “None” was the sheepish reply from the Argentinean who made his return to football at the weekend after five months out with a back injury.

While Mourinho was his usual tense, snappy self, Harry Redknapp couldn’t have been happier as he had his usual jolly jape with the press at the Santiago Bernabeu three hours later.

When asked about how his counterpart would react to Saturday’s loss against Sporting and the end of his 150 match unbeaten home league run, the Spurs boss couldn’t contain his glee at the notion. “He knows how the rest of us feel sometimes on Saturday night,” chuckled Redknapp, “let’s hope it’s a bad week for him.”

And the Madrid manager’s hints earlier in the day that Ronaldo won’t be fit for Tuesday night despite being in squad held no salmon for the Spurs man. “I’d be happy if he wasn’t playing, but I know he’s playing.”

The difference in the aura given off by the two managers the day before the game couldn’t have been more vast. Mourinho was closed, tense and defensive. Redknapp was relaxed, open, and more than a little dazzling with only the pressure of “playing well” the following evening on his mind.

The sentiments of their coaches could well be matched by the approaches of their sides in the quarter-final tie.