The Tottenham manager repeatedly used the name to refer to Southgate in the week while making a point about striker Harry Kane’s international commitments.
It was seen by many as a sign of disrespect on Mourinho‘s part – but the Portuguese supremo insists that was not the case.
Mourinho claims he thought “Gary” was commonly used as a short version of “Gareth” in this country – and had told Southgate as much.
“I spoke already with Southgate, which I want to share with the public,” he told Sky Sports.
“When I told Gary Southgate, I promise, and I promise to him, that I always thought in so many years in England, I always thought that Gary was short for Gareth.
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“I didn’t know. I called him Gary and I apologise to him, I want to make that public because I only have respect to him.
“I thought I was being nice to him, in the end, I was insulting him.”
Mourinho then added: “He can call me John, if he wants, I will accept that.”