(CNN) -- Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho insists he should not have been sacked by Chelsea, stoking the tension ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League last-16 tie in London.
Italian champions Inter hold a 2-1 lead after winning the first leg in the San Siro, with Mourinho making an emotional return to the club where he is still adored by fans after winning two English Premier League titles despite his acrimonious departure in 2007.
The Portuguese coach was axed by Chelsea's billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich just two months into the season following a disappointing 1-1 draw with Norwegian club Rosenborg in the Champions League.
He led Inter to the Serie A title in his first year in charge and the Nerazzuri top the Italian table again this season, though their lead has been cut to one point following Friday's shock defeat by Catania.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have won only the English FA Cup since his departure, with his replacement Avram Grant and then Luiz Felipe Scolari being sacked before current manager Carlo Ancelotti took over from interim boss Guus Hiddink in July 2009.
"I feel sorry but I look forward. I feel sorry because, when I look at the big four teams while I was in England, [their managers] are all there," Mourinho told reporters on Monday.
"Sir Alex Ferguson is here. Arsene Wenger is here. Rafa Benitez is here. I did more than enough to be here. But the decision was made.
"Chelsea looked forward. I look forward. They move on. I move on. I keep winning important things. They keep winning... something. They won an FA Cup.
"The most important thing is the relation we have. No regrets, no big problems. Just respect. In football, coming back to an old team, it's important to feel like I feel. It's one of the most beautiful things in football. They move on, I move on."
However, the 47-year-old admitted having one regret about his time at Stamford Bridge -- he would have preferred to leave on his own terms after winning the FA Cup in May 2007.
"I would have left the day after the FA Cup final after my third season. The timing was wrong. I waited three or four more months more and, after that, I left in September and I didn't enjoy my time from then to the day I went to Inter," he said.
"For me, being away from football is too painful. If I had left Chelsea in May, I would have started the next season in a new club and I would not have been without football for six or seven months."
Mourinho, who won the Champions League in 2004 before joining Chelsea, said he still wishes to return to England in the future.
"I have, as I said before, three things to do in my career. One is to come back to English football, another thing is to win the Spanish championship, because no-one has won Italian, English and Spanish titles. And another one, when I'm old, is to coach my national team. But, for now, I would like to keep winning with Inter."
Mourinho has had a difficult relationship with the Italian media since taking over from Roberto Mancini, now manager of English club Manchester City, and he has now come under more pressure following his latest falling-out with young striker Mario Balotelli.
The 19-year-old, who was dropped by Mourinho for a month last season for reportedly not training hard enough, did not make the trip to England after missing the Catania game.
Media reports claimed that the highly-rated Balotelli argued with Mourinho following a below-par performance in the previous game against Genoa, a 0-0 draw, claiming that he was ill.
"I don't want to talk about him," Mourinho said. "He won't be here. He won't be at the match.
"I can explain whey I called up the other 20 players. It's more important to talk about the players who will be there, not those that are not."
Spanish club Sevilla host CSKA Moscow in Tuesday night's other Champions League match.
The two teams drew 1-1 in the first leg in Russia last month.