Mourinho silent over Matic ban


Published: Friday 27th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho on Friday declined to discuss Nemanja Matic’s two-match suspension which rules the midfielder out of Sunday’s Capital One Cup final with Tottenham.

The Serbia midfielder was banned for violent conduct after reacting furiously to a challenge by Burnley’s Ashley Barnes in last Saturday’s Premier League draw.

The automatic three-match ban was reduced to two in mitigation but the Blues announced they were “appalled” and “frustrated” by the decision not to absolve the midfielder.

Mourinho, who last weekend labelled Barnes’ challenge “criminal”, would not comment on Matic’s Wembley absence.

“If I give you my views, it’s bad for me,” said Mourinho, speaking ahead of the clash with Tottenham at Wembley.

“I can’t give you my views. If I speak again about the Matic situation I will be in big trouble.”

Mourinho has lamented a “clear campaign” against his side this season.

He hopes the officials in Sunday’s final operate at their optimum.

“It’s easy for me to say that I don’t believe that anyone involved in this game doesn’t want to make his best,” Mourinho said.

“I believe all three teams will go with the same ambition to do very well and hopefully even the players that like to complicate things try to make the final a good final.”

Mourinho declined to name names, but he has been outspoken in his criticism of Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen this season.

Mourinho was speaking 10 years to the day since winning his first trophy as Chelsea boss, a 3-2 defeat of Liverpool in the 2005 League Cup final.

Chelsea went on to win the championship for the first time in 50 years that season and this term are bidding for a first Premier League title in five years.

The Blues are five points clear of second-placed Manchester City, who on Sunday have an opportunity to cut the gap to two points with victory at Liverpool.

But Mourinho says he is thinking only of Sunday’s match.

“Since I arrived in July 2013 it’s the first time I don’t think about the future of this club,” Mourinho said.

“It’s the only moment where I just think about the moment. I don’t think about the future, I don’t think about the consequences.

“I just think about this game. We have a final to win on Sunday and nothing else matters.

“I don’t think it’s because you win the cup final you win the league.”

Chelsea beat Spurs 3-0 on December 3 at Stamford Bridge, but in the return fixture on New Year’s Day lost 5-3 at White Hart Lane.

And the Blues lost to Tottenham in the 2008 final.

Asked if the fact the contest is a London derby gives it added significance, Mourinho said: “A final is a final. Doesn’t matter the opponent really.

“To be a London club for me doesn’t add anything to the game.”

Published: Friday 27th February 2015 by The News Editor

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