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Sunday 17 December 2017

MOURINHO: chelsea's EYES fixed only on final win

Jose hopes officials will be at their best for Spurs showdown

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is focused only on Wembley and not the future as he refused to dwell on Nemanja Matic's two-match suspension which rules the midfielder out of tomorrow's League Cup final with Tottenham.

The Serbia midfielder was banned for violent conduct after reacting furiously to a challenge by Burnley's Ashley Barnes in last Saturday's Premier League draw.

The automatic three-match ban was reduced to two in mitigation but the Blues announced they were "appalled" and "frustrated" by the decision not to absolve the midfielder.

Mourinho, who last weekend labelled Barnes' challenge "criminal", would not comment on Matic's Wembley absence.

"If I give you my views, it's bad for me," said Mourinho, speaking ahead of tomorrow's final at Wembley.

"If I speak again about the Matic situation I will be in big trouble."

Mourinho has lamented a "clear campaign" against his side this season, but hopes he will not have further reason to complain in "a final we have to win" as he bids for a first trophy of his second spell.

He hopes tomorrow's officials, led by referee Anthony Taylor, operate at their optimum. "It's easy for me to say that I don't believe that anyone involved in this game doesn't want to make his best," Mourinho said.

"I believe all three teams will go with the same ambition to do very well and hopefully even the players that like to complicate things try to make the final a good final."

Mourinho believes the good relationship he has with Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino means fourth official Craig Pawson will have a quiet afternoon.

"Easy job for the fourth official, because in between both benches, for sure, peace," Mourinho said. Pressed on "the players that like to complicate things," Mourinho said: "The players that dive looking for fouls, the players that dive looking for cards."

Mourinho has been outspoken in his criticism of Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen in recent times.

"You don't need me to say names, because you know exactly the same as I know," the Blues boss added.

Mourinho was speaking 10 years to the day since winning his first trophy as Chelsea boss, following a 3-2 defeat of Liverpool in the 2005 League Cup final.

Chelsea went on to win the championship for the first time in 50 years that season and this term are bidding for a first Premier League title in five years.

The Blues are five points clear of second-placed Manchester City, who tomorrow have an opportunity to cut the gap to two points with victory at Liverpool.

Mourinho, who is bidding for a third League Cup, says he is thinking only of tomorrow's match. "Since I arrived in July 2013 it's the first time I don't think about the future of this club," Mourinho added.

"I just think about the moment. I just think about this game. We have a final to win on Sunday and nothing else matters. I don't think it's because you win the cup final you win the league. I don't think because you lose the cup final you lose the league. I don't see connections."

Mourinho does believe Chelsea must forget the final as soon as it has happened, with a visit to West Ham in the Premier League following next Wednesday.

He added: "After that the Capital One Cup is over. If we go home with a cup and a medal, perfect, but no consequences.

"Monday is another day, Monday we have to train, Wednesday we have to play and no time even to think about consequences."

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