Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Chesea boss Mourinho in combative mood ahead of Euro showdown

PHOTO | GLYN KIRK Chelsea's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho addresses a press conference in London, on March 17, 2014, ahead of the UEFA Champions League, round of 16, second leg football match against Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge.

PHOTO | GLYN KIRK Chelsea's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho addresses a press conference in London, on March 17, 2014, ahead of the UEFA Champions League, round of 16, second leg football match against Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge.   AFP

By AFP
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LONDON

Jose Mourinho was in tetchy mood ahead of Chelsea's Champions League showdown against Galatasaray as he reacted angrily to questions about his side's implosion at Aston Villa and aimed another jibe at Roberto Mancini.

Mourinho had made clear his frustration with referee Chris Foy after being sent off along with Chelsea midfielders Willian and Ramires during a tempestuous 1-0 loss against Villa on Saturday.

Speaking after that surprise defeat, which put a dent in Chelsea's title challenge, the Blues manager called for the Premier League to consider not appointing Foy for his team's matches in future.

And he showed signs of still being irritated by the incidents when quizzed again about the red cards during Monday's press conference to preview the crucial last 16 second leg meeting with Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge.

Asked if he had spoken to Ramires about his dismissal for an ugly foul on Villa's Karim El Ahmadi - the clash that sparked Mourinho's own red card for entering the pitch - the Portuguese coach said: "Don't you have other things to ask about that game more important than Ramires' tackle on minute 92?

"You think that in that game the most important thing was Ramires' tackle in minute 92?

"I don't want to answer, because I feel that what happened on minute 92 was a consequence of the other 92 minutes that we played before that.

"I'm sorry if I'm wrong or if you don't agree with me, but I think if you want to ask you should ask about what made that tackle happen. But that's just my opinion."

Mourinho, who was also sent from the touchline against Cardiff in October, was asked specifically what he was referring to about the "other 92 minutes".

But he would only say: "Everything that happened. I bring the game into disrepute. I cannot.

"We cannot have a reaction to Villa Park, because if we have reaction we bring the game into disrepute.

"We just close our mouth and we keep going."

MOURINHO ATTACKS MANCINI

Mourinho was no less feisty when discussing Galatasaray chief Mancini, who was his predecessor as Inter Milan boss.

Former Manchester City manager Mancini has been involved in several past spats with Mourinho, but the Italian had spoken earlier on Monday of his willingness to go to dinner with his rival if Galatasaray win on Tuesday.

But, asked whether he would be happy to have a post-match meal with Mancini, Mourinho said: "No, because I have no interest. After the match I don't do things because I win or because I lose.

"After matches what I have in my mind to do, I do. It doesn't matter if I win or if I lose.

"And in my plans after the game, I don't have a meal with somebody that has the same job as I have and this is the only thing we have in common.

"The fact is we both are football managers. Nothing else."

Mourinho was happier when conversation turned to Didier Drogba, the former Chelsea striker who will make his first appearance at the Bridge since leaving in 2012.

Drogba is now at Galatasaray but the Ivory Coast star remains hugely popular with the club's fans and Mourinho refused to quash reports linking the forward with a return in a coaching role next season.

"Undoubtedly, he's one of the most important players in the history of this club. All Chelsea supporters, we agree with that," Mourinho said.

"We know he finishes his contract at the end of the season, but we know it's not the right moment.

"I think it has to happen one day. As a player, as a coach, as an ambassador.

"When a person represents so much to a club and when a club represents so much to a person, I think he has to be back one day."

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