COBHAM, January 16 – Jose Mourinho promised to exert greater ‘self-control’ on Friday after accepting referees were under pressure in his first public comments since the Chelsea manager was hit with a Football Association misconduct charge.
Last week the boss of the Premier League leaders was charged for comments regarding match officials following Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Southampton on December 28.
Portuguese manager Mourinho was adamant Chelsea were the victims of a “clear campaign” by “people, pundits, commentators and coaches from other teams” and said the decision to book Cesc Fabregas for diving against the Saints was a “scandal”.
“Now I am conditions to control myself, a week ago I couldn’t,” Mourinho told reporters at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground, south of London, on Friday.
“It would have put myself under bigger problems. It was a good decision. Now I can smile and control my words,” he added ahead of Chelsea’s league match away to Swansea on Saturday
“We understand the job is not easy.
“I’m happy to admit my mistakes, so when I spoke with (referee) Kevin Friend (after the FA Cup game against Watford) and, realised it was my mistake and not his, I apologised.
“The reality is that every decision is going against us and the results were affected by that.
“You could say that Eden Hazard is fouled more than any player in the Premier League. You can also say that we have the most shots and dominance, but still have the least penalties. You can say there is a discrepancy in that.
“Eden Hazard is still the same naive boy who was playing at youth level and for him to go to the floor needs to be something really nasty. He is getting no protection that is the reality.”
– No doubts over honesty –
However, Mourinho insisted: “But I want to put any doubts about the honesty of people beyond us totally.
“To be fair, I think the standard of referees is good and if people did what I did to work in three other countries, you’d realise the standard is good.
“What maybe is not good is the reactions and influence that you can have on their stability to referee this team or that team.”
After vowing not to be gagged Mourinho, asked whether he will appeal against the FA charge, he said: “I’m not hopeful. I’m not interested. I will do my work and forget about it.
Mourinho sidestepped a question over whether he had called referee Phil Dowd ‘fat’ and said: “I went to their referees’ dressing room after the game with the captains. We can go 30 minutes after.
“Sometimes the words are normal and we wish good luck for the next and other times we discuss what happened in the game like men. Sometimes they are surprised.”
Meanwhile Mourinho took a swipe at title rivals Manchester City after the Premier League champions signed striker Wilfried Bony for up to a reported £28 million ($42 million, 36 million euros) from Swansea.
Mourinho, who was believed to be in the running for the Ivory Coast forward, questioned whether City had complied with Financial Fair Play rules in signing Bony.
“Good striker. If they (City) have the money and no problems with FFP, well done.
“Rules are different for City.”
Mourinho added he did not expect Swansea to be downhearted by the exit of Bony, who had scored nine goals in 22 appearances for the south Wales side this season
“Swansea are a very good team and very good teams don’t depend on one player.
“Losing Bony doesn’t make them less difficult.”