Thursday 22 March 2018

Jose Mourinho: People who abuse Chelsea are jealous of our success

Jose Mourinho's side are well on course for a first title since 2010
Jose Mourinho's side are well on course for a first title since 2010

Matt McGeehan

Jose Mourinho believes Chelsea are the most abused team in the Barclays Premier League merely because of their success.

Research from anti-discrimination body Kick It Out showed the Blues were the Premier League club to receive the highest volume of discriminatory posts with 20,000, followed by Liverpool (19,000), Arsenal (12,000), Manchester United (11,000) and Manchester City (11,000).

Chelsea are seven points clear with seven games to play ahead of Saturday's match with Manchester United, who are eight points behind in third, having led from the opening round of fixtures.

"I think because we are boring," said Mourinho, when asked about the research on Friday.

"Top of the league since day one. It's something in this country people don't like.

"I think everybody would love the Premier League to be like the Championship at the moment, with four teams separated by a couple of points.

"I know this is the ideal scenario in the Premier League. But since day one we are there and we are trying not to allow that to happen.

"We have big determination to be champions."

Mourinho refused to comment on figures from fair play delegates which reported the Blues were worst among the Premier League for respecting officials.

"You know, I prefer not to answer. Really," Mourinho added.

Chelsea could take a big step towards the title with victory over Louis van Gaal's side.

Mourinho said: "If we beat Man United we go 11 points (clear of United). But 'if' - and (I want) no 'ifs'.

"(Saturday night at) 7:30 we know the result and we know the distance between us and Man United. To be speaking about 'what if' is not something that helps.

"I want to win. It's the way I approach (the game)."

United have a number of injury concerns, particularly in defence, which were dismissed by Mourinho.

"Their squad is amazing," he said.

"They have (Chris) Smalling. Of course they don't have (Jonny) Evans and (Phil) Jones, but (Paddy) McNair and (Tyler) Blackett.

"Van Gaal is a fantastic coach to develop players. The kids played a lot of matches. They are more than ready."

Mourinho insisted he has had to cope with similar difficulties, again pointing a finger at the media for the suspensions of Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic earlier this season.

He added: "For a long, long time, because of suspension or because of injuries, or because of your (the media) suspensions - because I don't forget a couple of times you decide the players to be suspended.

"We are in trouble since a long, long time and you have to cope with it."

Van Gaal will be unfazed, says Mourinho, who worked with the Dutchman early in his career at Barcelona, with the pair enjoying an enduring relationship.

Mourinho added: "I consider him a big, big friend.

"This season, because of our jobs, in clubs with the same objectives, we are not speaking every week. But the deep feeling of a big friend, that doesn't change."

Press Association

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