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Poll: "Mourinho is Mr Charming with referees"

The English referee analyses Mou's behaviour towards referees in the 'Daily Mail'. "He works with such a charm that you don't think you're being worked."

Poll: "Mourinho is Mr Charming with referees"

The British tabloids are already getting ready for the return leg of the Champions League tie between Real Madrid and Manchester United, to be played in under two weeks at Old Trafford. Under the headline, 'How José (AKA Mr charming) influences referees', the Daily Mail has published a column by the English referee Graham Poll, in which he talks about Mourinho's ability to strike up a relationship with referees.

Invitation: "Jose Mourinho is Mr Charming with referees. He is most effective in domestic leagues when he knows each referee personally. When Mourinho first arrived at Chelsea in 2004, one of the first things he did was invite me to the training ground to introduce himself. He knew I was one of the leading referees in the country and, as it turned out, I ended up refereeing six Chelsea games that season. He was very charming and introduced me to the team as 'the best referee in Europe'. He works with such a charm that you don't think you're being worked".

New changing room: "Before the game he is lovely, too. I was in charge of his very first Premier League match, a 1-0 victory over Manchester United. He asked me afterwards if everything was OK for me and I flippantly replied that the referee's room needed a lick of paint to say the least! Five weeks later I returned. The referee's room had two new showers, complimentary toiletries and a flat-screen TV."

The other side: But at the end of his second season, I was also in charge when Chelsea were beaten 2-1 in an FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool at Old Trafford. He was less than charming in the tunnel afterwards. He stood there shaking his head at me and looking disappointed. He made one comment: 'I thought you were my friend'. I chose to ignore it.

Gestures: As for histrionics on the touchline, it has become almost comedic and is so predictable it doesn't surprise or affect you as a referee.

Ferguson: "he's different. He doesn't bother with the charm. He isn't unpleasant, he just leaves you alone. But when he talks about referees in the media you'd like to think it doesn't affect you, but it can.

Referee for the return leg: "The return leg at Old Trafford will have to refereed by one of the top 10 officials in the world. He can't be English or Spanish, and he's unlikely to be German after we had German referee Felix Brych in the first leg, so that only leaves a handful. And trust me, every one of them will want that match.

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