Back in October 2015, Mourinho’s reign at Chelsea was starting to unravel. The Blues had had a disastrous start to their Premier League defence, and things only got worse in the 3-1 defeat at home to Southampton.
At half-time in the match, with the scores at 1-1, Mourinho brought Matic on for Ramires.
Then, on 74 minutes, he hauled him off again, replacing Matic with Loic Remy.
“The press wants a story, the press wants blood,” remembers Mourinho. “My blood, or his blood, or both.
“He was really sad. I was also sad because it’s not something nice and it’s something I did only twice in my career.
“But the next day he comes to see me and he says, ‘I’m not happy, but it’s my fault. I’m not happy with what you did to me, but it’s my fault, because the way I was playing I can understand the change.
“‘So let’s keep going.’
“We didn’t keep going for a long time because a few weeks later I was sacked.
“But again he was one of ‘my guys’, was one of the guys that we kept close during these years even not working together.
“So I know that the big man is there, even with more maturity.”