Mourinho: It's a joke Hazard hasn't won player accolade yet
Jose Mourinho has described it as laughable that Eden Hazard has yet to be named Premier League 'Player of the Month' even once this season and has also rejected any suggestion from Yaya Toure that he was being disrespectful by talking up Manchester City's chances of beating Barcelona.
Daniel Sturridge and Sam Allardyce were respectively named player and manager of the month for February and, while Mourinho was unconcerned by not winning the award himself, he is baffled by how Hazard keeps being overlooked.
"I think Sam deserves it," he said. "I think he won four consecutive matches in February. When you win every match in the month, normally you have to win the award. I didn't in some months where I won every match, but that's me. Sam deserves it because he works with West Ham like a shotgun, taking the team from a dangerous position.
"For Hazard to arrive in March without one single award makes me laugh."
Mourinho also answered Toure who said it was "not the correct way" for the Chelsea manager to talk so much and said that he "must give respect". City and Arsenal exited the Champions League to Barcelona and Bayern Munich this week despite Mourinho backing their chances of an upset.
"If, to say, before the Munich match and before the Camp Nou match that the English teams can do it, if supporting the teams from the country where I am and work, if this is a lack of respect, OK it's a lack of respect," he said.
"Man City and Arsenal showed at Munich and Barcelona that I was right. They had enough quality to do it because they both played very good matches. This is not a lack of respect, it's support. The same as me saying City are capable of winning their three matches in hand to go top of the league. If that is a lack of respect, he has a strange concept of a lack of respect.
"I've tried to be respectful with the two English teams. I want to say the same in relation with Man United. I think they are a better team than Olympiakos. I think they can do it, and I hope they do. If tomorrow Rooney, Van Persie, Carrick or Ferdinand says Mourinho is not being respectful, I think they are wrong because I support the English teams and I was not happy that the English teams were out of the competition."
Mourinho also remains adamant that his team's lead in the Premier League table is "fake" until everyone has played the same number of games but is hopeful that Fernando Torres will return from his groin injury against Aston Villa tomorrow.
He is unsure, though, whether his squad has sufficient depth to challenge to win both the Premier League and Champions League.
"I think it's very difficult," he said. "Our squad is quite short. It depends on what you mean by 'cope'. To play and do our best, yes.
"To win the Premier League we have to win nine matches and we have to wait for Man City not to win every match. To win the Champions League we have to beat Galatasaray and somebody in the quarter-finals and somebody in the semi-finals, and somebody in the final. And by somebody, I mean the best teams in the world. So I think both are very, very difficult. But let's go match by match and see what happens."