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Absent Mourinho vows to be ‘responsible’

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JOSE MOURINHO

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during training. PHOTO/FILE

COBHAM, November 6 – Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will miss the trip to Stoke City on Saturday but has still promised to take “responsibility” for the Premier League champions when they are at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

The Portuguese was punished for his behaviour towards officials at half-time of Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat by West Ham, but has already adapted by giving his staff detailed plans for the Stoke game.

Asked why he would not appeal against the ban, Mourinho again implied on Friday that he is suffering from double standards, and said that being given a stadium ban for language — as opposed to aggressive behaviour — sets a precedent for more such punishments.

“Because the match is tomorrow and because I know the result of that appeal already, and I decided to give up,” Mourinho told a news conference at Chelsea’s training ground in Cobham, southwest of London.

“It’s stupid to fight a fight that you know you’ll already lose,” he added, having come under intense pressure this season with Chelsea now a lowly 15th in the 20-team Premier League.

“I travel with them, yes. I travel with them and will be with them until the moment somebody stops me, which is, I think, when I am in the limit of the compound of the stadium,” Mourinho explained.

“We know when I have to stop. I have to get out (of the coach) before. I don’t know (where I watch the game).

“I have no plans. Maybe I sit in the street corner with my iPad. I don’t know.”

– ‘Incredible scenarios’ -His staff do know how to handle the game, he insisted, due to his planning.

“I will be in charge. Every responsibility is my responsibility,” Mourinho said. “My staff are completely free of that extra pressure. That doesn’t belong to their jobs. It’s my responsibility.

“If after 10 minutes we are playing with seven men, it’s something I didn’t prepare my assistants for. They’d have to decide themselves.

“You’re right: the game is unpredictable, we don’t know the direction in many aspects, but we try to reduce. That we did. The most incredible scenarios you can imagine (we have envisaged).

“Let’s go to extremes: at half-time winning or losing 4-0,” he explained. “In between this, you have 1,000 options: be dominating and controlling the game; being dominated and not controlling the game; having problems with this or that area; injuries or red cards of the goalkeeper, the right-back, the centre-back, the striker, the winger.

“We went through all these different scenarios. They are prepared. Also, what is important is for them to feel protected by the fact that it’s my responsibility.

“It’s just for the players to play, and for the assistants to be with them and supportive with them.”

He added: “I know the situation where I am in relation to the football power in this country, and I have to adapt. I have to adapt to it.”

Mourinho also believes the decision opens up more potential stadium bans for other managers.

“If I go to the dimension of the punishment, I think it opens a range of situations and options that I can imagine, in the future, we are going to have lots of managers with stadium bans because a stadium ban should relate to something really, really serious in terms of aggression, words I don’t want to lose.

“This stadium ban is connected to words, to complaints. So, I imagine, in this moment it’s open, in the future, for the stadium ban to happen much more times unless, and maybe unless, we have our association or other associations around Europe that question in a very serious and legal way about the rights of the managers and the dimension of the stadium ban.”

Mourinho meanwhile confirmed that Branislav Ivanovic is available again after a hamstring injury, but that Radamel Falcao is out with a muscular problem.

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