Belfast Telegraph

Jose Mourinho: FA are right to tackle badly behaving bosses

By Sam Wallace

Jose Mourinho has welcomed the Football Association's crackdown on abuse of match officials, despite his at times fractious relationship with football's authorities.

A new code of conduct will see touchline staff who abuse officials first given a verbal warning before being sent to the stand in the event of a repeat offence.

The Chelsea manager - whose side lost 1-0 to Fiorentina last night in a Champions Cup match at Stamford Bridge - says he behaved well last term, before pointedly referring to the moment he was pushed in the chest by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger at Stamford Bridge last October.

"I am very happy because last season I had fantastic behaviour on the touchline. I was never sent to the stands, I was never punished for my behaviour," Mourinho said.

"I always had good relations with the fourth official. I had a new experience in my career, which is always welcome, because I was pushed in the technical area by another manager and it was a good experience for me to keep my emotional control."

That was the moment Mourinho and Wenger's long-running feud turned physical and the pair did not shake hands after last Sunday's Community Shield, when the Frenchman claimed a first win over the Portuguese at the 14th attempt.

Mourinho insists he would shake Wenger's hand in future.

He said: "As a manager in a football stadium, I never refuse a handshake with a rival. By respect of my club and by respect of football I would never refuse a handshake with a football manager in a football stadium."

Mourinho says he is thinking of getting the best out of his existing players, rather than adding to his Chelsea squad.

The Premier League champions have five first-team defenders and Mourinho has spoken of his wish to add to his options, but Everton have rebuffed offers for John Stones.

Mourinho knows deals could yet be done but the transfer window, which closes at 6pm BST on September 1, is not his focus.

"The transfer window is over, you know what I mean?" Mourinho added.

"I don't like the transfer window when the (Premier League) competition starts after tomorrow, I don't like transfer window during the competition.

"I know the transfer window is open. I know that my club is able to buy or to sell - every club can buy or can sell in this moment -but I don't like that feeling.

"As a football coach, thinking about my players, my squad and my coaching role, I don't want to think about the transfer window.

"I'm not going to lose one minute of my time to think about the transfer window, I have to think about how to get the best out of my players, and that's what I am doing now."

Chelsea have so far signed goalkeeper Asmir Begovic - as a replacement for Petr Cech, who switched to Arsenal - and striker Radamel Falcao, on loan from Monaco.

Mourinho has dismissed the notion that promising young English players need a run in the Chelsea team to prove themselves, pointing out that the 20-year-old French defender Kurt Zouma required just 10 minutes to show he was ready for the Premier League.

The Chelsea manager said that he would make no special allowances for English players trying to make the step between the club's successful junior teams and the first team.

It was the prerogative of the Football Association, he said, if it wished to push for higher quotas of homegrown players within Premier League squads, currently set at eight. But he added that it was up to the players themselves to grasp their opportunity when it was presented to them.

"I think that the players must give confidence for me to say, 'Let's go'. Not the other way. The players and the agents [say]: 'Oh, I need five matches in a row to prove myself'. You don't need five matches in a row. You need 10 minutes. In 10 minutes you can show me if you are ready or not.' Zouma didn't have five matches in a row.

"In 10 minutes you can show a lot. You can show you are ready, you are mentally ready, you are physically ready, you are ready to cope with the pressure, you are not the kind of guy who trains and plays against kids his own age but not ready to play at the high level."

Belfast Telegraph


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