FA Cup: Reading's Jaap Stam more excited by Mourinho meeting than Man Utd return

Manchester United v Reading, FA Cup third round
Venue: Old Trafford Date: Saturday, 7th January Kick-off: 12:30 GMT Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Berkshire plus text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

Reading boss Jaap Stam says he is looking forward to the chance to test his managerial skills against Manchester United's Jose Mourinho more than a return to his former club.

The Royals go to Old Trafford for an FA Cup third-round tie on Saturday.

"I like the way he works and what he does for the team - he gets things going," Stam told BBC Radio Berkshire.

Former Netherlands defender Stam spent three seasons as a Manchester United player between 1998 and 2001.

He was part of Sir Alex Ferguson's treble-winning side of 1998-99, but he left for Lazio in unhappy circumstances following an apparent falling-out with Ferguson - something Stam says has subsequently been made too much of.

"I get sick of it, Fergie gets sick of it," Stam said.

"United maybe get sick of it sometimes. I talk to the press and sometimes I get a question about what happened, again.

Reading manager Jaap Stam
Jaap Stam's possession-based style has guided Reading to third in the Championship

"You try to give a decent answer, but they always try to find a way of making it interesting. I'm not focusing on what happened when I was a player, or what the papers say.

"It's not going to be an emotional return in the sense I'm going to be crying.

"It's nice to go back. I love the club, I love the fans and I had a great time there. But this game is not about me, it's about Reading facing Manchester United at Old Trafford.

"People don't need to write about me, they need to write about the team and what they can do against such big opponents."

'I admire the success he has had'

Stam, 44, has guided Reading to third in the Championship with a possession-based style in his first full season in management and the chance to face Mourinho is something he says excites him.

Jose Mourinho
Jaap Stam's last involvement with Jose Mourinho came in a Soccer Aid match at Old Trafford in 2014

"I've spoken to him a couple of times and he's a great manager," Stam added. "I admire all the success he has had and the trophies he's won.

"Hopefully I can be up there as well at some point, but I still have a long way to go. It is good to play against managers like that because you can learn something."

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