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Monday 11 December 2017

Mourinho 'accepts' Roy criticism for premature handshake at Villa Park

Jose Mourinho has sarcastically accepted the criticism from Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert and assistant Roy Keane over the Chelsea manager's handshake towards the end of their Premier League clash last month.

Lambert and Keane declined the Blues manager's offer of a handshake in the latter stages of Villa's 3-0 loss at Stamford Bridge on September 27, with both expressing their annoyance towards Mourinho in the last 10 days.

Keane, who labelled Mourinho's behaviour "disgraceful", was scathing in his criticism, saying: "The game is still going on. You wouldn't do that on a Sunday morning, you would get knocked out."

Lambert agreed when asked this week if he felt Mourinho was "disrespectful" by not waiting until the end of the match for the handshake.

Speaking ahead of Chelsea's match at Crystal Palace tomorrow, Mourinho said: "First of all, I want to say that I appreciate the comments.

"I think they are both two great examples of polite and very well educated people and because I am a humble guy who tries to learn every day and with every experience, I appreciate the comments."

Asked if he would do it again, Mourinho responded "yes", before responding "no" when asked if he could understand why someone would be upset by his actions. He refused to comment when asked to respond over suggestions the action was arrogant.

Mourinho refused to rake over old ground following Arsene Wenger's apology for the Arsenal manager's push on the Portuguese during Chelsea's most recent match, a 2-0 defeat of Arsenal on October 5.

"I have no reaction," Mourinho added.

"You had my reaction after the match, where I told you nothing happened, and you still had the reaction from the FA (Football Association), disciplinary committees, all of them, that that nothing happened."

Chelsea have a number of fitness concerns ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park.

Diego Costa, Ramires (groin), Didier Drogba (ankle), Andre Schurrle (illness) and John Obi Mikel (undisclosed) will be assessed prior to the match.

Costa's fragile hamstrings have been the subject of much debate, but it is unclear what the latest issue is.

The £32million signing from Atletico Madrid, who has scored nine goals in seven Premier League games, reported to Chelsea's Surrey training base on Monday morning despite having been told to take two days off and return to training on Wednesday afternoon.

Asked if Costa was reporting for treatment, Mourinho said: "No comments."

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