Chelsea vs Southampton: Jose Mourinho insists Chelsea have no 'crying prima donnas'

The Portuguese coach is confident that his players can handle his management style

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Jose Mourinho said that his players accept his criticisms as there are no prima donnas in the Chelsea squad.

The Chelsea manager castigated his players on Monday morning, saying their attitude was not as good as his, before leaving three of them out of the trip to Porto. After the game, which they lost 2-1, he said they made “ridiculous mistakes”. Speaking at his press conference this afternoon, ahead of tomorrow’s match with Southampton, Mourinho said that his players were strong enough to handle whatever he said about them.

“In here we speak openly,” Mourinho said. “’You did that, you could to that, you could help your mate, I did that mistake but you could do a bit better to compensate for my mistake.’ We communicate openly. No prima donnas crying. Everyone wants to do well and accepts the criticisms, knows the job and knows what let the team down.”

Mourinho had said that his players were not “serial champions”, and had an “unstable attitude”. Those comments were made just before Chelsea flew to Porto, a trip on which they did not take Loic Remy, Falcao and Oscar. But the Chelsea manager reported earlier that those three had reacted well to being left at home and out of the squad for the game in Porto on Tuesday night.

“I was told by my assistant who stayed in London and didn't travel, Chris Jones, that on Tuesday they worked fantastically well” Mourinho said. “That was the first reaction. They could have stayed here and not shown motivation but, because they knew they could be selected for the next match, they worked very hard and well on the Tuesday.”

Mourinho said that the start of this season – Chelsea have eight points from seven Premier League games – has been the worst run of his career, and a vital learning experience he wishes had happened sooner.

“I define it as the worst period in my career with the worst results in my career, which I see as a fantastic experience,” he said. “Not one I want to repeat. I want it to finish tomorrow, but it's a good experience in my career. It comes too late, to come after 15 years is too late.”

“It should come after three or four. But it's something that's helping me to be better. It's a great negative experience. It's the worst results. I've had big challenges all the time. But it's the worst period: I've never lost so many matches, that's a fact.”