Signing Mutu was not my mistake, says Mourinho says he is not to blame for Mutu actions

The Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has disclaimed all responsibility for the Adrian Mutu affair following the Romanian's failed drugs test.

The Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has disclaimed all responsibility for the Adrian Mutu affair following the Romanian's failed drugs test.

Speaking yesterday at Chelsea's Harlington training ground, Mourinho said it was impossible to know everything about a player's life off the pitch, although clubs needed to find out all they could before they bought expensive players.

In his first comments on the saga of Mutu's so-called playboy lifestyle, Mourinho said the best place to tell if a player was misbehaving in his private life was on the training pitch. Talking after a coaching session about the problems of signing new players, the club's Portuguese manager said: "You can make mistakes from a sporting point of view ... and on the social side you have to try to know the maximum you can. Mutu was here before me so he was not my mistake."

Mourinho said the training ground was a window on players' lives outside the club. "When you see a player committed, concentrated, strong ... his life outside of football is good. When you see a player tired, having difficulty concentrating, with many changes of mood ... then you put a question mark by him."

Mourinho had said before news of the positive test broke this week that Mutu had experienced some problems in training. It was all very different last July when Mourinho praised Mutu's attitude and the player said he was turning over a new leaf. But Mutu failed to secure a first-team place and relations between manager and player became strained.

Mourinho yesterday denied that Mutu threatened him during their bust-up over the striker's decision to play for Romania in their World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic. Mutu, who is understood to have begun counselling for drug abuse yesterday, claimed he felt like hitting the Chelsea manager when the pair clashed over his decision to play for his country. He said: "I admit that in the heat of our confrontation, I did threaten Mourinho and in a moment of total madness I almost hit him."

But Mourinho countered: "It is simply not true what he is saying. It was not true that I forbade him to go and play. I saw him only twice when he came back from the Czech Republic. The first was in training on the Monday and then in a meeting. There were not many words or emotions between us. He is not telling the truth. Perhaps he has nightmares about me."

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