Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho blasted the fixture schedule that sees them play against Fulham on Saturday after a grueling trip to Turkey to face Galatasaray on Wednesday.
Talking to the press ahead of the game against Fulham, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho echoed the sentiments of his vice-captain Frank Lampard and blasted the fixture schedule that sees them play on Saturday after a grueling trip to Turkey to face Galatasaray on Wednesday night.
When asked about his opinion on the comments made by Lampard, Mourinho said:
“It’s difficult. Playing on Sunday would be difficult. We play Saturday which is more difficult.
“We all want to play, but with conditions to recover and equal conditions for every team, with every team having the same privilege to be a little bit protected in relation to European matches.
“It makes the players’ job difficult, not my job. I can play a match every day, it’s not a problem for me or the people who make the fixtures. I don’t run, and they don’t run.
“It’s difficult for the players. When a player like Frank Lampard, who has a right to speak and has played an unbelievable number of seasons and matches in this club, and over 100 times for England, and is not the kind of player who is trying to give an opinion all the time. When a player like him expresses his feelings about that, this country should listen.
“What we don’t accept is why we’re playing Saturday and not Sunday. I have not slept a lot after Wednesday, but my legs are fresh. But for my players, it’s different.”
Mourinho insisted that he hasn’t spoken to his strikers after footage of him blasting them was leaked. He had lamented his lack of strikers in his squad and had suggested that Samuel Eto’o may be older than he is, but Mourinho said he hasn’t addressed the situation with them.
When asked if he had spoken to them, blunt Mourinho replied: “No.”
Quizzed if any had come to him to discuss it, he repeated: “No.”
Mourinho replied “no” again when questioned if he was surprised that none of his strike force had come to talk about it.
When asked about his opposition manager Felix Magath, Mourinho insisted that the new Fulham manager is one of the best in the Premier League. Mourinho said:
“We like to play plenty of games but we want it to be fair. It’s fair for clubs to be a bit more protected in terms of clubs in Europe.
“Everyone does it, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Germany. These are questions that other people have to answer.
“I don’t his training. I know his CV, one of the best of the 20 managers we have now. I respect that.
“Magath was the first one to say this is special situation because of our midweek match.
“Magath knows that because he has experience of European competition, so I have to praise him for that.”
Earlier on Friday Magath had stated that of all the managers in the Barclays Premier League he is most like Mourinho. Magath said:
“Here in the Premier League you have great managers: Manuel Pellegrini, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho.
“Every team Mourinho’s managed he’s won a title. Maybe of the managers here Mourinho is the one who is a little bit similar to me. I hate to lose like him.”
The German also felt there was bound to be some kind of fatigue factor for Chelsea less than three days after the game in Istanbul.
“When a team has played in the Champions League, it is always an advantage. We are lucky that Chelsea have had such a long trip to Istanbul to play on Wednesday. It’s a good situation for us.
“I remember the situation – you have to stay at the airport, fly for a few hours and then play the game at night.
“Players can’t sleep so well and are tired and then they have to spend more time at the airport. It bothers the players a lot.
“It gives us a chance. Chelsea are favourites, everyone knows that, but we’ll try to fight and make a fast game. If we pressurise Chelsea then we have a good chance to win the game.”
He also said that he would love to secure his first win since taking over from Rene Meulensteen at home in a passionate local derby.
“It’s an important game for me because it’s my first appearance at Craven Cottage. If we show fighting spirit on the pitch, we can get the crowd behind us.
“At home games the crowd will be the 12th man and that’s what we need. We need all the support we can get.”