The Manchester United squad has arrived at The Lowry Hotel ahead of the derby at City.
Mourinho insists it will not be the 'end of the world' if City beat them to clinch the Premier League title in Saturday's derby.
City could become the earliest champions in the Premier League era if they defeat their neighbours at the Etihad, surpassing United's 2001 record by a week.
Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez were among the players spotted arriving at The Lowry Hotel on Saturday afternoon. Photographers did not see Luke Shaw, Marouane Fellaini, Daley Blind, Michael Carrick or Phil Jones but it is possible they met up with their teammates separately.
Mourinho actually inflicted a similar loss on United as Chelsea manager in 2006, when their 3-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge secured Chelsea a second successive championship.
Chelsea's trophy procession took place following the fixture but City will have to wait until the visit of Huddersfield on May 6 to parade the Premier League crown in front of their supporters.
United responded to the Chelsea disappointment by regaining the league in 2007 and Mourinho has attempted to downplay the prospect of City regaining the title against their biggest rivals.
"Look, I won the title at Chelsea against Manchester United," Mourinho said. "We beat United 3-0 and we won the title at Stamford Bridge in 2005-06. But it was not the end of the world, Manchester United didn't finish. It was just football.
"The only thing I can say is that we want to win, we don't want to offer them the game. We want to go there and want to compete and win the match if possible. That's the only thing I can say.
"It is normal that you want to delay the champions becoming champions. We would like to beat them, we would like Spurs to beat them next week, we would like them to be champions as late as possible.
"I think Chelsea would feel the same because they would like to be [reigning] champions as long as possible - until late April or the beginning of May.
"That is normal in football but in this case obviously they are going to be champions because there is a very significant difference."
United go into the derby 16 points adrift of City, whose only defeat in their league campaign was at Liverpool in February. Pep Guardiola's side have scored 28 more goals than United and conceded two fewer in a season so dominant the title race effectively ended before Christmas.
Mourinho last week demanded United's critics acknowledge their form for staying in the top two since the start of the season but believes the chasm between the Manchester clubs is a fair reflection.
"The table is always the reflection of the season," Mourinho added. "We have the points we have because we lost here and here and there, and they have the points they have because they won here, and here and there.
Romelu Lukaku, Kieran O'Hara and Joel Pereira arrive at The Lowry Hotel
"It is always a fair reflection. Sometimes you know you have one team that was unlucky with injuries, another who was lucky because they had no injuries and no suspensions, another one had a few more points because some referee mistakes gave them a few more points.
"But I don't go in this direction because it belongs to the season. Every team in the course of the season had some injuries, has someone suspended, had referees mistakes that helped or punished you but in the end what matters is what happens in the reality of the points and City will be champions because they deserve to be champions."
Mourinho was reluctant to discuss the challenge of supplanting City next season, or their Wednesday night Champions League defeat at Liverpool.
The Portuguese also gave a cryptic answer after he was asked whether United's addition of Alexis Sanchez in January showed they were capable of seeing off Pep Guardiola's side in the transfer market.
Sanchez seemed set to join City in the winter window but United gazumped the champions-elect to sign the Chilean from Arsenal. City ended January with the signing of £57million Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao and Mourinho referred to that piece of business during a contrary exchange with a reporter.
"Are we? That's your opinion," Mourinho shrugged when it was suggested that because United 'got in ahead of City' to buy Sanchez it showed they could compete. "It's your opinion.
"Did they spend money in January? Did they? Do you know that? Can you confirm that? I don't know, I have no idea if they were interested [in Sanchez] or not, I've no idea."
"My motivation is to finish second," Mourinho added. "I still have the motivation of finishing top four, mathematically is not done, is a good distance but not mathematically done so that's the first objective but after that I don't hide.
David de Gea will hope to keep a clean sheet against City
"That in practical terms and especially next season to finish second, third or fourth is exactly the same, because you don't win the title but you qualify directly for the Champions League group stage, but I prefer to finish third and fourth and I prefer to finish second and third, and because we have been second for many, many, many months, is our objective to fight for that and for that we need points.
"So my objective for tomorrow is to try to have points to finish second.
"You see the number of points we have and is easy to go to the books with the number of points we have we would normally be in the fight for the title but we are not because City have a very good number of points that makes it very, very difficult to fight for the title, which we are not in this moment."
United squad spotted at The Lowry Hotel:
Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Joel Pereira, Kieran O'Hara
Defenders: Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian
Midfielders: Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba
Forwards: Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku