Jose Mourinho has no regrets over denouncing the “clear campaign” against Chelsea and now wishes to focus only on wrapping up the Premier League title.
The Blues boss was fined £25,000 for the comment, which came after the December draw at Southampton when he felt his side were denied a clear penalty, with Cesc Fabregas instead booked for diving.
Since weight has been added to Mourinho’s claim, with Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic handed disputed suspensions, while marginal decisions have gone against the Blues, including in last week’s draw with Southampton, when Costa was denied a penalty.
“I never regret when I speak from my feelings,” Mourinho said. “I don’t want to spend my energy thinking about the negative decisions and the points it cost us. I don’t speak about it. I can’t. I’m punished.
“I just want to focus all my energy. Two months to go and in two months we can be champions.” [Hull v Chelsea preview: Mourinho’s men looking to bounce back] Chelsea on Sunday play Hull, whose manager Steve Bruce criticised the Blues players following December’s meeting at Stamford Bridge, accusing Gary Cahill of a dive which was like “something out of Swan Lake”, while Willian and Costa were booked for diving.
Mourinho refused to respond on Friday, but was asked about an article published on the club’s official website, headlined ‘Penalty puzzle’, which analysed the fact Chelsea have received two Premier League spot-kicks all season. The Blues boss does not believe it was a provocative piece and merely stated facts. He said: “Not for me. I don’t think the writer is going to win the Pulitzer with that article. It’s just the numbers.
“It’s such a simple thing and for me there is no story. How many penalties has this team had? Five. How many penalties has that team have? Eight. How many penalties has this team had? One.” Mourinho said Chelsea missed “confrontational leadership” last season in finishing third in the Premier League behind Manchester City. The Blues boss, six points clear of City with a game in hand, says it is a motivational technique that has not been required this term.
Asked for an example, Mourinho said: “Criticise a player in the media. Try to provoke a reaction from him, of anger, of not being happy with his manager, of trying to show that I’m not right.” He did that with Eden Hazard last term, criticising the often mercurial playmaker for not tracking back in the Champions League semi-final loss to Atletico Madrid. Mourinho does not take full credit for Hazard’s consistently strong performances this term, though. Mourinho added:
“I don’t think it was me with that particular episode. “I just think that was a natural evolution for him. He wants to win titles, he wants to be the best, to improve his game, to score more goals. “It was an accumulation of experience, an accumulation of feelings that made him go in a certain direction. “For example, when he was Young Player of the Year it was not a big thing for him. “He doesn’t want to be the best Young Player of the Year, he wants to be the best Player of the Year.”