Wednesday 18 July 2018

Mourinho: We can afford to lose

Jose Mourinho will not discuss Stones bids
Jose Mourinho will not discuss Stones bids

Jose Mourinho is adamant Chelsea will be able to recover if Tony Pulis claims a hat-trick of wins in Sunday's clash at West Brom.

Pulis has masterminded successive wins over the Blues boss with Crystal Palace and then with the Baggies in May.

Chelsea are bidding to recover from their worst start to a season in 17 years, but Mourinho insists even a defeat and an eight-point gap to the top of the table would not cause him to panic.

"We can (afford to lose)," Mourinho said.

"Eight points in England is 80 points in other leagues, because in other leagues, eight points is an eternity.

"It's very difficult in other leagues for teams to lose points. In England, teams lose points."

Chelsea conceded a handsome eight-point advantage last term when Manchester City drew level on New Year's Day, but the Blues managed to recover and win the title by the same margin, sealing the trophy before the loss at the Hawthorns.

Diego Costa was key to Chelsea's title win last term, but the striker is still to score this season.

Mourinho believes Costa is sticking to his uncompromising approach despite his rough-and-tumble reputation working against him.

The Portuguese feels City's Fernandinho should have been sent off for catching Costa with a flailing arm in an aerial challenge in last week's 3-0 loss at the Etihad Stadium.

Mourinho added: "I can guarantee you if it's Diego Costa that does that, I can guarantee you red card. If not red card, video footage and suspension.

"We are speaking about reputation, but what I see game after game is more of the same. It's him doing his job and no more than that.

"I think enough time (has passed) to forget his reputation, because tell me when was the last time something happened.

"I don't think he's too physical. At least his skull is not very strong. Because 'boom' and Fernandinho fine."

Costa, who scored 20 goals in 28 Premier League games last term, should not be a victim of so-called 'second-season syndrome', where players perform below the level of their first season, according to Mourinho.

"I think the second season should be better than the first," Mourinho added.

"I think he has conditions to have a better season. He is working well. He is working better than before."

Costa has expressed his discontent with Chelsea's start to the season.

Mourinho added: "He is another one not happy. He is another one who this week, clearly, has showed that he is not happy, and I am very happy when I feel that the players are not happy. I am very happy with that."

Mourinho, who recently signed a four-year contract, laughed off suggestions he was near the top of bookmakers' lists to be sacked first this season.

He said: "You don't have big chances of making money on that.

"Just a feeling, but I don't think I'm going to be sacked.

"The bookies want to make money. They don't want to lose money. I never heard about a bookmaker bankrupt.

"The ones that put the money there is money lost, so good for the bookies."

Press Association

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