Jose Mourinho: Chelsea do not get the respect they deserve from the Premier League
Blues manager has claimed he may play a weakened side against Liverpool
Jose Mourinho made the claim today that Chelsea should be shown more “respect” by the Premier League – and have their fixtures rescheduled accordingly – because of their achievements in European competition in the last ten years.
In another tetchy press conference, this one at the club’s Cobham headquarters, Mourinho refused to reveal any details during the broadcast section of his Friday briefing about his team selection for the Premier League game against Liverpool on Sunday. He remains angry that teams playing in European competitions are not given scope by the league to change the dates of their games.
Asked whether he thought Chelsea fans wanted the side to sacrifice the game against Liverpool Mourinho said: “I think Chelsea fans want Chelsea FC to be respected and to get the respect Chelsea FC deserves. They know what Chelsea have done for the club and for English football for the last 10 years.
“They've been the most important club to defend this country in European competitions. They won the Champions League, they won the Europa League, they think Chelsea deserve more respect that they are getting. They want Chelsea to go to Liverpool and play, as always, at the maximum giving everything they have. Which players? That's our decision, not your decision.”
Mourinho remains unable, or unwilling, to accept that the benefits of Champions League football and the advantages it confers on teams, also comes with some drawbacks such as a heavier, sometimes inconvenient, fixture schedule. Such was the compliance of the football authorities when he managed in Portugal and Spain, that he finds it difficult to believe the same cooperation is not forthcoming here.
He claimed that Atletico, who also play on Sunday, and kick-off two hours after Chelsea, would, in normal circumstances, have been given the option to play on Saturday by the Spanish league. The only reason they have to play on Sunday is because their opponents, Valencia, played in the Europa League last night.
Mourinho would not discuss his plans for the team selection against Liverpool and claimed that he risked a charge from the Football Association if he said what he meant. “You want me to laugh or to cry? I can't say the truth because I don't feel free.”
Asked why that was the case, he said: “Because every time I speak, there's a consequence. Even when I think the referee is amazing [in reference to his comment after the defeat to Sunderland about Mike Dean], there's a reason to be charged. So I don't feel free at all. If you want a better press conference, speak with the FA.”
He said that John Terry had a “little” chance to play against Atletico on Wednesday in the second leg after his ankle injury in Madrid on Tuesday. He said that his responsibility as a manager, regarding the team he fields on Sunday, was to the club’s fans above all.
Mourinho said: “The most important thing for me is my club, and the supporters of my club. They're the most important thing for me. My club and Chelsea supporters. I have to defend my club, and I have to defend Chelsea supporters. And, if we are not helped to try to follow our dreams and our objectives, one more reason for us to close [ranks], to try and think about us and only about us.”
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