Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho fails to explain why medics Eva Carneiro and Jon Fearn have been banished

Blues manager said pair could return to bench in the future

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Jose Mourinho insisted yesterday that his medical team have been told to prioritise the well-being of his players above all else – but in a fiery press conference he would not explain why doctor Eva Carneiro and first-team physiotherapist Jon Fearn have been moved off the bench for tomorrow’s game against Manchester City.

Speaking for the first time since it emerged that Carneiro and Fearn would be demoted from bench duties after Mourinho’s furious response to them last Saturday against Swansea, the Chelsea manager threatened at one point to walk out of his press briefing when he was pushed on the issue.

He confirmed that Carneiro and Fearn would not be on the bench at the Etihad Stadium but said that would not preclude them from returning later in the season. Under Premier League bench regulations only two members of the medical staff are permitted to sit with the staff and substitutes.

On the question as to whether he was contravening General Medical Council guidelines on patient safety by admonishing the pair for treating Eden Hazard last Saturday – having been told to do so by referee Michael Oliver – Mourinho said that he had given clear guidelines to staff.

He said: “I had a meeting with my medical department [on Friday]. The first thing I said to my medical department – and I repeated it three times because I wanted to start the meeting with them having no doubts about it – was if we know, and it is easy to know by many ways, if one player has a problem, the player is more important than the result. He is more important than the manager, he is even more important than the referee. And if the referee does not give you permission to go to the pitch – you go. You go.

 

“It does not matter if the referee is not happy with that. It does not matter if the manager is not happy with that. If you know – if you feel, and it is easy to know when to feel because there are many examples of it – you go and you don’t think twice. Now that this is clear, let’s go and speak about other things related to our jobs together. The thing I repeated one, two and three times, is that the player is more important than the manager, than the referee, than the result. It doesn’t matter.”

Yet Mourinho would not explain why, if that was the case, he had demoted Carneiro and Fearn. “You can make the questions and we don’t stop you making the questions,” he said, “but you cannot make me answer you. I don’t answer.”

 

Earlier, in his press conference with broadcasters, Mourinho had dismissed the likely effect of the episode on his players. “If somebody thinks a disagreement between two members of the medical staff and the manager can affect the week, that’s somebody who doesn’t have a clue what football is about.”

When he was asked whether he had responsibility in football as one of the senior figures in the English game and the power that came with that, Mourinho said: “Power oh my word. Power? Jesus Christ! Power of what? The only power I have is to choose the team that plays Sunday, to choose who goes on the bench, to choose what we do in the week, which exercises we do, which direction we try to take our game plan.”

When he was reminded that two years ago he had accepted that he was now a “godfather” among Premier League managers, Mourinho responded: “I am not the  godfather.”

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