• Champions League

Hazard dropped for skipping training - Mourinho

ESPN staff
November 7, 2013
Changes pay off for Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has implied Eden Hazard was punished for missing training on Monday, saying he didn't "want to lie" about the reason for omitting the forward from Chelsea's 3-0 Champions League win over Schalke.

When asked about why Hazard was left out, Mourinho smiled and - after initially trying to evade the issue - admitted the forward is "not injured".

"Do I need to clear it up? Willian played fantastic... I don't want to lie. He is not injured," Mourinho said.

Mourinho was then pressed on why Hazard missed training on Monday.

"He forgot the time," Mourinho eventually said, as he also insisted Hazard will be back for Saturday's home game against West Bromwich Albion.

"That's the end of story. He's a kid. Kids make mistakes and fathers have to be clever in the way they educate their sons. He didn't play. He wanted to play. He was sad because he didn't play. We won without him. On Saturday, he is back. So, end of story.

"It [the 3-0 win] is nothing to do with dropping this one or that one. It's to do with their mentality, and they were strong. They started a bit nervously, they made a lot of mistakes. We lost a couple of balls in dangerous positions and allowed them to counter attack with some danger.

"They had two good situations. After that, our team recovered the balance and we controlled the game. Comfortable ball possession, recovering the ball and playing in an aggressive way, attacking the spaces with two or three players, when we lose the ball aggressive in the way we pressed and defended, our three guys behind the striker very strong when the team lost the ball in recovering positions.

"And when we won the ball we were strong attacking the spaces with good pace, so I think we won in quite a comfortable way and that's good for us. After the Basel defeat we'd put ourselves in a difficult situation, so it's fantastic that after the fourth fixture we have qualified... Not yet? Well, almost."

Mourinho was asked whether Samuel Eto'o was his favourite ever player, after the Cameroonian hit Chelsea's first two goals, one with a piece of opportunism and the other after a fine team move.

"My favourite players are the players who win matches for me, not the ones who lose matches for me. And Samuel worked with me in the best season of my career. We won everything. So he's in a good position," said Mourinho.

"He was, for two years, playing without big motivations. When you play without big motivations, you train without big motivations, and you lose condition, sharpness and even appetite.

"It was not a surprise for me that he arrived here not in the best condition after two years in Anzhi. Now, step by step, he's growing. He's 32, but fit and slim. Not a heavy boy. He's intelligent of course. Goals give confidence.

"The first one was a 'fox' goal. The second goal was a very good collective goal: Willian's choice was fantastic, Ramires' run to give him an extra option was fantastic, and Samuel's movement was excellent."

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