• Premier League

Moody Mourinho bemoans fixture pile-up

ESPN staff
February 22, 2014
ESPN FC Preview: Chelsea v Everton

Jose Mourinho has voiced his concern about Chelsea's fixture schedule, complaining that broadcasters have not helped out his team.

The manager, who has repeatedly highlighted the advantage Liverpool have gained from not competing in the Champions League, is worried about fatigue this week.

"In the week ahead, we have the return of the Champions League, as we travel to Turkey for the first leg of the knockout tie against Galatasaray," he said in his programme notes for Saturday's game against Everton.

"Then we return to London, arriving home around 5am or 6am, to prepare for the derby at Fulham.

"We play on Saturday at 3pm, which is not ideal after a Wednesday match in Istanbul. On another occasion, we would have been allocated a Sunday slot for TV, which would have given us a further 24 hours to prepare."

Before the game, in which captain John Terry returned to the team, Mourinho was unusually reluctant to chat.

Questioned on a variety of topics - from his "specialist in failure" comments directed at Arsene Wenger to Wayne Rooney's bumper new deal at Manchester United - during his pre-match press conference, he decided not to risk further controversy.

The Portuguese then answered "No" when he was asked whether he had taken a vow of silence, or if he was unhappy at the recent criticisms directed his way.

Mourinho's refusal to talk about Romelu Lukaku, who is on loan at Everton, because he "prefers to think of him as Martinez's player" was odd given he was happy to discuss the future of Thibaut Courtois, who has been loaned to Atletico Madrid.

Mourinho used phrases such as "I don't have a reaction" and "I don't speak about other teams" during the press conference, although he did admit that Oscar's condition had struggled because of the "difficult" English weather.

When asked why he was refusing to answer several questions, Mourinho stated: "I'm fine. I'm not in the mood."

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