Tuesday 20 February 2018

Mourinho: Brendan Rodgers told me I got it right in crunch title clash

Manager Brendan Rodgers of Liverpool and Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea
Manager Brendan Rodgers of Liverpool and Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Jose Mourinho claimed vindication for his tactics at Anfield as he revealed that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had called him yesterday to admit his approach was right.

After Sunday's game, Rodgers had scorned Mourinho's approach as "easy to coach" but yesterday he congratulated the Chelsea manager, who said that Sunday's disagreement was forgotten, and that tactics that were not pragmatic were "stupid".

"Brendan is a manager and is somebody I consider my friend," Mourinho said before tonight's Champions League semi-final with Atletico Madrid. "Of course I know his words after the match, but I also know his words today, and today he told me congratulations for a great victory and a great performance.

"Because I consider him a friend, I prefer to forget the words after the match and I keep today's word. He's an intelligent guy. He watched the match for sure on video and, now, I think he understood what happened."

Mourinho said he will play "strategically" this evening and that managers who play contrary to their strengths, in accordance with another philosophy, are "stupid".

"At the moment, football is full of philosophers, people who understand much more than me," joked Mourinho.

"When Atletico has the ball, we have to defend. When we have the ball we have to attack. This is the football that I know.

"You have play according to the qualities of your players and the qualities of your opponents. In my first period here, I said if you have a goalkeeper like Petr Cech who puts the ball in the opponents' box, and a striker like Didier Drogba who wins everything in the air, why play short? Because you are stupid.

"If your opponents are fast on the counter and want space behind your defensive line, if you give them that space you are stupid." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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