Friday 18 January 2019

Mourinho keeps his line on Pellegrini

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho declined the opportunity to respond to Manuel Pellegrini's "small team" taunt, but suggested the Manchester City manager should commit to his own vow of silence when it comes to discussing rivals.

Pellegrini was critical of Chelsea's style of play in last Sunday's Premier League draw at the Etihad Stadium, likening it to Stoke.

Mourinho said: "I don't have a reaction. I think you (the media) should, not me.

"It was not once or two or three times that he said he doesn't speak about referees. He killed Mark Clattenburg (after City's draw at Arsenal).

"It was not one, two, three, four times, he said he doesn't speak about me or my team's opponent.

"He did it once more. I think it's for you to comment. When I said I don't want to speak about him. That's what I try to do.

"If you want the story you have to speak with him not with me. I keep in my place. I follow my line."

Mourinho, sticking to his line, refused to comment on his relationship with Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, who will be in the opposite dugout at Stamford Bridge today.

The Blues boss would not discuss Roy Keane's impact as Villa assistant boss or the struggles of Louis van Gaal's Manchester United.

Diego Costa, scorer of seven Premier League goals this term, will start for Chelsea against Villa despite his hamstring travails.

Mourinho has revealed Costa can play only one game a week at present, but the Chelsea manager insists he is powerless to stop Spain calling up the striker for next month's international break.

"He plays tomorrow and he starts the game without problems," Mourinho said.

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