'Jose Mourinho is wrong - I do not need a rest,' claims Chelsea winger Eden Hazard
The 23-year-old was talking while on international duty for Belgium
Wednesday 05 March 2014
Eden Hazard is disputing Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's assertion that the attacking midfielder is due a rest, the 23-year-old insisting that he plays consistently better when fed a steady diet of action.
"I don't need rest, as I've said before, I'm at my best if I can play a lot of matches. But I must be aware that I don't let myself burn out," the Belgian international told the country's daily Het Laatste Nieuws in an interview published on Wednesday.
"I'm in a good rhythm, I'm getting a lot of game time. I did feel a little down in the first half against Fulham but it went much better in the second half," he said of Saturday's 3-1 win in the London derby which saw Chelsea move four points clear at the top of the Premier league.
Before the match, Mourinho had told reporters he was hoping Hazard would not play in the midweek international, a World Cup warm-up against the Ivory Coast in Brussels later on Wednesday.
"He needs a rest," the Chelsea manager said last Friday.
"It'd be perfect if his national coach did not play him.
"He can not have a rest in the club. In the national team he doesn't have to play friendly matches.
"He needs a rest and they could give him a rest. It's important for us and I prefer him on the pitch even if he's tired because I know he can produce things."
Hazard would not start for Belgium against the Ivorians but was expecting to come on from the bench, he said.
"I spoke to the coach (Marc Wilmots) about it and we will see how long I will play. He understands the situation, he's not stupid. He knows I'm playing a lot."
Hazard told the Belgian daily he was in the best form of his career.
"That shows in the statistics and in the succession of matches in which I've played well. In my last season at Lille, I also had a good run, similar to now. I hope it will continue and that I will profit with both Belgium as well as Chelsea."
Hazard said his relationship with Mourinho was also going well.
"I find we have a normal relationship. If there are things to be said, he says them. If you are playing well, he says so. But if you are not, you also get to hear about it," he added.
"I prefer it if people say things to my face. He might be called the 'Special One' but to me he is the 'Normal One'."
Read more: Hazard eats more than his Belgian team-mates
Mourinho: Schurrle is 'not a striker' despite hat-trick
Hazard excels as Chelsea pull four points clear
Latest in Sport
England vs Lithuania: Wayne Rooney rules out repeat of boxing celebration after son Kai repeats it at school and focuses on goalscoring record
Marco Reus becomes Arsenal transfer target to replace Theo Walcott
Paul Scholes: It's amazing Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has so few caps for England
New kits for 2015/16: Have the Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona strips been leaked?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Zab Judah denies flooring Mayweather during sparring as he prepares for 2 May
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest