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Thursday 14 December 2017

MOURINHO CAN'T HIDE HIS ANGER

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (pictured) spoke publicly for the first time in 10 days yesterday and refused to hide his simmering resentment towards the media over Diego Costa's three-match suspension.

The Blues boss, who risked a Premier League fine for avoiding media duties either side of last weekend's draw with Manchester City, was unhappy with the portrayal of a challenge between Costa and Liverpool's Emre Can, which resulted in the Chelsea striker's ban.

Asked why he had not spoken to the media since immediately after advancing to the Capital One Cup final at Liverpool's expense on January 27, Mourinho said: "Because if you (the media) want, you can make a silence very noisy. Depends what you want to do. You could make noise with my silence, because you know the reason for my silence. It depends on you. If I was a journalist I could make from silence, lots of words."

Mourinho in December spoke of a "clear campaign" against his side.

He was fined £25,000 the day after the Liverpool win for those comments.

Asked if the reason for his absence was because of Costa's suspension, which continues at Aston Villa on Saturday, Mourinho, who chose not to discuss the incident, said: "Not just (Costa's ban). I don't reflect. Maybe I'm punished to reflect. Maybe they (football's authorities) can read my reflection and (that) I don't want."

Managers are required to speak before and after matches under Premier League broadcast regulations.

Mourinho, who often wears a smile but did not yesterday, added: "You know why I'm here so you cannot expect that I'm super happy to be here."

Mourinho responded "yes" when asked if he was in attendance because he was required to be.

He hardly had the demeanour of the manager of the Premier League leaders, who are five points clear of defending champions City with 15 games to go.

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"I feel the distance could be much bigger," he said. "If I analysed - which I'm not going to do - the last five, six, seven matches, we could, we should have a bigger difference."

The first question Mourinho faced was about deadline-day signing Juan Cuadrado, who could make his Chelsea debut at Aston Villa after arriving on a day when Andre Schurrle left for Wolfsburg and Mohamed Salah moved to the Colombia forward's former club Fiorentina on loan.

Asked how excited he was about Cuadrado, one of the stars of last summer's World Cup, Mourinho said: "Normal."

He added: "I don't think it's the best thing for him that I speak about expectations. He needs his time, as does everyone.

"It's a reaction to Schurrle's departure, but it's not a panic buy, because he's a player we know for a long, long time."

On the prospect of Cuadrado's debut, Mourinho said: "I think he can (play) unless the Premier League or the FA say some rules stop him from playing."

Mourinho is bidding for a first win at Villa Park - one of only two Premier League grounds, along with Newcastle's St James' Park, where he is yet to triumph.

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