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Saturday 10 December 2016

Jose Mourinho: 'Ignore Steven Gerrard, there is no rift between me and John Terry'

Jose Mourinho (left) and John Terry (right)
Jose Mourinho (left) and John Terry (right)
Chelsea captain John Terry and manager Jose Mourinho talk in training

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has denied Steven Gerrard's claim that there is a rift between him and captain John Terry.

Terry was an unused substitute as the Blues, whose Barclays Premier League defence has begun in miserable fashion, opened their Champions League Group G campaign with a 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Speaking during his work as a BT Sport pundit, former Liverpool captain Gerrard said: "There's certainly a bit of friction behind the scenes because for me, you play John Terry week in, week out, he's your captain.

"He's such an important figure in the dressing room and if Chelsea want to be successful this season, they need him in there."

Mourinho said: "Steven is wrong. I have a very good relationship with him. Sometimes we contact by SMS (text message). But he's wrong, because we have no problems."

The Portuguese insisted after Chelsea's first home win of the season - secured with goals from Willian, an Oscar penalty, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas - and first clean sheet that he is always "a fantastic manager" as he savoured the winning feeling.

"I am a fantastic manager when I win matches and I am a fantastic manager when I lose matches," Mourinho added.

"I forgot the feeling. For so long we don't win a game, so good, a good feeling."

Mourinho received the acclaim of the home faithful and, while he prefers it when they support the players and team, he welcomed the adulation.

"I prefer that than they say 'Mourinho out' and they boo me and so on," he said.

"It shows they don't read papers or they don't have short memories. If they don't read papers they support me. If they don't have short memories, they support me.

"We won four Premier Leagues, three with him and one with his team. This guy is not bad. Let's support the guy. We have a chance to win the fifth."

Despite all Chelsea's domestic troubles and worst start to a season since 1988, they were the only English team to begin the Champions League with a win after Arsenal joined Manchester United and Manchester City in making a losing start.

"It's bad news for English football," the Portuguese said.

"I'm not happy with that. I want Man City, Man United and Arsenal to lose in the Premier League - not in the Champions League."

The Gunners visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday in the Premier League and Mourinho will be happier to prepare after a win.

"For all of us to wake up (on Thursday) after a defeat, to go to Cobham again, to train again after a defeat, two days before a derby against Arsenal, I could imagine how difficult it would be for everyone," he added.

Willian picked up a hamstring injury and joins Pedro in missing the Arsenal game, while Radamel Falcao missed the Maccabi contest injured and Oscar may also be absent after recently returning from a knee problem.

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