Belfast Telegraph

Jose Mourinho is tight lipped about Manuel Pellegrini's criticism

By Staff Reporter

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho declined the opportunity to respond to Manuel Pellegrini's "small team" taunt, but suggested the Manchester City manager should commit to his own vow of silence when it comes to discussing rivals.

Pellegrini was critical of Chelsea's style of play in last Sunday's draw at the Etihad Stadium, likening it to Stoke.

Mourinho said: "I don't have a reaction. I think you (the media) should, not me. It was not once or two or three times that he said he doesn't speak about referees. He killed Mark Clattenburg (after City's draw at Arsenal).

"It was not one, two, three, four times, he said he doesn't speak about me or my team's opponent.

"He did it once more. I think it's for you to comment. When I said I don't want to speak about him, that's what I try to do. I keep in my place. I follow my line."

Diego Costa, scorer of seven Premier League goals this term, will start for Chelsea against Villa despite his hamstring travails.

Mourinho has revealed Costa can play only one game a week at present, but the Chelsea manager insists he is powerless to stop Spain calling up the striker for next month's international break.

Mourinho, who traced Costa's hamstring trouble to the last international break earlier this month, added: "The moment a national team wants to select a Chelsea player I'm nobody. It's their decision. They can do what they want. It's completely out of my control."

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