Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho vows to focus on football
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has vowed to focus on football after taking exception to media reporting of two incidents on a London street.
The 52-year-old Portuguese is frustrated that phone camera footage of two teenagers following him through west London – something Chelsea described as "overly intrusive" – was widely reported this week.
"You don’t get from me good and funny headlines," Mourinho said at his media conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash at West Ham.
"I’m going to treat your bosses the same way they treat me. No respect, no respect.
"And I’m not speaking about football. Football I’m ready to accept any kind of criticism, even the stupid ones.
"Private life and stupid things that you bring to light, I don’t like it. So we go to a different level of professional relationship."
The footage shows Mourinho being unhappy with the approach of the teenagers.
A Chelsea spokesperson said: "We’ve noted the two recent stories concerning Jose being filmed on mobile phones.
"While Jose understands the laws pertaining to filming in public places, the two teenagers in question followed him from his home for 20 minutes and constantly interrupted a private phone call, which he and the club believes goes beyond the grounds of reasonable behaviour.
"Jose has always spoken warmly of the public reception he receives in London, but both Jose and the club consider these last two instances as overly intrusive.
"We also note the allegation of intimidation in those stories, which Jose strongly refutes and which his legal representatives will continue to monitor closely."
The Premier League champions sit 12th in the table after nine games, having belatedly recorded a third win by beating Aston Villa last Saturday.
That was followed by a goalless Champions League draw at Dynamo Kiev, but Mourinho is uncertain if Chelsea are now climbing from their lowest point of the season.
"I don’t know. I just know that the team was always together, the players were always together," Mourinho added.
"The players were man enough to assume responsibility and to say even publicly some of them that they were feeling responsibilities in their individual poor start.
"Statistics are very clear for us. As an example, we conceded six goals as a consequence of isolated individual mistakes.
"But the team was always together. We’ve got two important results, three points in the Premier League after two matches without a victory and against a direct rival for qualification in the Champions League (Dynamo) we got a point away and the chance in 15 days to play against them.
"The mood improves with results and people are happy."
Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s leading performer last term, was dropped against Villa, but returned to the starting XI in Ukraine.
Mourinho declined to say if the Belgium playmaker would start at Upton Park, but merely spoke about his contribution at Dynamo after demanding an improved work ethic.
"I don’t know (if Hazard will start)," said Mourinho, who has the same squad as he had for Tuesday’s game, so Pedro and Loic Remy remain out.
"He played the last match and played for 90 minutes and he was part of the compact team that kept that clean sheet.
"I’m happy with his contribution against Dynamo and that’s it."
West Ham have made a fine start to sit fourth under Slaven Bilic, a manager Mourinho admires.
"As a coach, I like (him) a lot," Mourinho added.
"Since the Croatian national team period to Besiktas and now to West Ham, I have a very good image, idea, about him.
"As a person, I don’t know him very well, but I have the feeling that we could be friends."
Despite the troubled start to the season, Mourinho insists Chelsea are "not afraid to lose".
"Premier League is 38 matches, lots of points. You lose today, you try to win tomorrow," he added.
"At this moment in the Premier League we are not afraid to lose matches. We are going to play normal."