Mourinho demands more fan support

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Published: Sunday 2nd November 2014 by The News Editor

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Jose Mourinho has continued his scathing attack on Chelsea’s supporters – but refused to endorse Roy Keane’s ‘prawn sandwich’ critique.

The Blues have won all five of their Barclays Premier League home games this term after beating QPR 2-1 in a hard-fought London derby on Saturday.

Mourinho criticised his team for a lack of intensity, but his biggest frustration was with the home support, who were too quiet for the Portuguese’s liking.

Perhaps the Blues fans are demanding more entertainment, like their manager.

Mourinho was critical of the support immediately after Saturday’s match and again in a separate briefing for Monday’s newspapers.

It was a rebuke reminiscent of former Manchester United captain Keane’s rant, but Mourinho declined the opportunity to point the finger at corporate supporters.

“I’m not here to sell books,” said Mourinho, who had a falling out with Keane following Chelsea’s match with Aston Villa, where the Irishman is assistant boss.

“We are the team to get less support in home matches. When compared to my previous time I think it’s getting worse.

“I don’t question the passion and the love – I’m nobody to question that and I know clearly that is not true.

“I will always love them and respect them, but I don’t know (why the atmosphere is poor).”

It was a fitful performance from Chelsea, with moments of brilliance – notably Oscar’s first-half goal – but it required an Eden Hazard penalty to secure victory after Charlie Austin’s improvised equaliser.

After two games in little more than 48 hours – the draw at Manchester United and Capital One Cup defeat of Shrewsbury – Mourinho was relieved to negotiate a trying week.

“The week was very strange,” added Mourinho, whose side play at Maribor in Champions League Group G on Wednesday.

“You play Manchester United on the Sunday, on the Monday you travel. Some of the players had two days off.

“Some of the others had to go to Shrewsbury immediately. Some of them in Shrewsbury played 90 minutes.

“Some had a free day the next day (Thursday) but it was a working day for the others.

“It was a very strange week to work and to be focused. We tried, but the individual performances weren’t there and the collective performance was not there too.

“We have to be more consistent and to play better. In the end we deserved to win, (but) the result could’ve been more than such a narrow result.

“It’s important to win when you don’t play so well as normal.”

Harry Redknapp praised the improving collective strength of his QPR side and issued a veiled warning to Adel Taarabt that his tolerance for those not buying into the team ethic has worn thin.

Redknapp, who had a public disagreement with Taarabt over the Morocco playmaker’s weight, is uncertain how many points his side will need to retain their Premier League status, but he knows the character traits necessary.

“I wouldn’t know how many points it will take,” he said.

“Look at Newcastle. A couple of weeks ago Alan (Pardew) was getting pelters but suddenly you win four games on the spin and now they are probably talking about getting into Europe. That’s how silly the game is.

“All you want is good lads (that) come in every day, enjoy being footballers, pick their wages up, work hard, train hard.

“If you’ve got a good group of lads you’ve got a chance in this game. If you’ve got a few dodgy ones, it is very difficult.”

Redknapp believes his QPR are finding their form ahead of next week’s visit of Manchester City to Loftus Road.

Redknapp, who hopes to have midfielders Jordon Mutch and Joey Barton and defender Nedum Onuoha available for the City clash, added: “Hopefully we can give them a real tough game as well.”

Austin scored his third goal of the week after his match-winning double against Aston Villa last Monday.

Redknapp said: “He has a striker’s knack for scoring goals.

“I was hoping he could score some goals (in the Premier League) but you never know until players get the opportunity.

“If he gets the service, he is a goal scorer.”

QPR’s added steel in midfield has also been key to their upturn in fortunes.

Redknapp added: “I felt we got it all wrong when we went to Tottenham earlier in the season (and lost 4-0), stood off them, let them have a ball, didn’t make a tackle. We can’t play like that. You can’t play football.

“That’s been the difference – Sandro coming in and Karl Henry. Hopefully we can keep them on the pitch, fit and well and that is what we need.”

Published: Sunday 2nd November 2014 by The News Editor

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