Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho has expressed his discontent about the fact that a lot of teams still have games in hand in the Premier League.
Chelsea went back to the top of the table with a comfortable win over Stoke City at Stamford Bridge as Mohamed Salah (who got his first start in the league), Frank Lampard and Willian got on the score-sheet. The Blues have a one point lead at the top over Liverpool, who play against West Ham United tonight. Manchester City are just three points behind Chelsea following their win over Southampton, but they do have two games in hand.
Jose Mourinho expressed his discontent about the fact that so many of the teams still have matches in hand at this point of the season, both in the title race and in the relegation zone, and insisted that it isn’t creating a good image of the league.
“In such an important league as ours, I don’t think it’s possible to have so many matches in hand, you have to wait two months and it creates difficulties for all the teams – top and bottom.
“The table is again fake. The table is again with lots of matches in hand.
“You look to the top part of the table and, some teams, they have more matches than others. You look to the relegation area and it’s exactly the same. In the top of the league we cannot say we need X points to be champions.
“If you look at the relegation area, Fulham or Cardiff or Norwich, they cannot say ‘we need this number of points to survive’, because they don’t know, because Sunderland have matches in hand.
“This, in the best league in the world, I don’t think is the best image we are giving and it’s not the best situation.
“To play matches in hand in the last week of the season, I don’t think is adapted to this top football country. We depend too much on other results.
“With Liverpool we have to play against them, so we have one match we have three points to discuss with them – with Manchester City we do not play so they have their destiny in their hands and the only thing we can do is to continue to win matches.” – The Chelsea manager said.
Mourinho played down talks of title once again insisting that the final outcome is not in their hands and that the best they can do is to keep winning games.
“We have five matches to play in the Premier League and we have to try to win all five and after we try to win match after match…at the end of the season see how many points we have and which one is our position.
“We don’t depend on ourselves and we never did. I was waiting for the moment where we could be top of the league and depend on ourselves and I was waiting for that moment to say ‘yes, now, we are candidates because we depend on ourselves’, but that never happened.” – Mourinho added.
Mourinho was delighted with the result and how his team bounced back from two back to back defeats. He was pleased with the clean sheet and lauded his side’s defensive organization.
“I think they played well, normally after defeats you don’t start confident and I think that is what happened but they went in that direction and we went in first-half winning one-nil but it could have been three-nil as we played really well in last 20 minutes of the first half.
“In the second half with the second goal – the game is over and after that everyone is in control and the players some can rest, and others can keep improving their condition and that is what we have to do from now until the end of the season.
“I think the team played well, and that is the direction I look at – solid defensively and we did not give them many chances, but that was only possibly because of contribution of all the players, even Salah and players from the side we got a good defensive contribution. Salah was very lively and Willian in the number 10 position.” – He explained.
When Mourinho was asked about what he thought about the performance of Fernando Torres, who once again failed to score, he replied: “Fernando, it was important for him to play 90 minutes and it is a pity he doesn’t score as goals give him more confidence but the fact he was on the pitch for 90 minutes and the team playing that way was the most important thing”.