Chelsea unpopularity a sign of success, says Mourinho
Jose Mourinho believes his Chelsea side are unpopular because they have dominated the Premier League title race this season.
Mourinho’s side have been top of the table since the start of the campaign and they can cement their position with a victory over third-placed Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
With second-placed Arsenal involved in FA Cup semi-final action this weekend, a win over United will move the Blues 10 points clear with just six matches remaining.
Chelsea manager Mourinho has refused to declare his side champions-elect, but it would take an astonishing turnaround if the Premier League trophy is not to find its way to the west London club in May.
Only reigning champions Manchester City have come close to dislodging Chelsea from the head of the table, when Manuel Pellegrini’s side drew level on points in mid-season only to fade away.
And Mourinho said Friday his side’s consistency meant neutrals have been left frustrated at the lack of close competition for top spot.
“We are boring, top of the league since day one,” Mourinho told reporters at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground, south of London, on Friday. “That’s something in this country people don’t like.
“Everyone would love the Premier League to be like the (second-tier) Championship at this moment, with four teams separated by a couple of points, where nobody knows who is going to be promoted or in the play-offs,” the Portuguese boss, in his second spell as Chelsea manager, added.
“I know this would be the ideal scenario in the Premier League, but since day one we are there. We are trying not to allow that to happen.”
– No ‘what ifs?’ –
Victory for United would unsettle Mourinho’s side ahead of their trip to London rivals Arsenal.
But wins over their two main title rivals will leave Chelsea requiring just one more victory to seal a first league title in five years.
“Tomorrow (Saturday) at 7:30pm (1830 GMT) we know the result and the distance between us and Man United. No ifs,” Mourinho said.
“Speaking about ‘what if, what if, what if’, it’s not helpful. I want to win.”
He added: “What is in my mind is to try and win the three points tomorrow.
“We know three results are possible, but we are just thinking about winning the game tomorrow. After the result tomorrow, we will see what happens. But we think match after match and try to win the match we have.”
Oscar has fallen out of favour in recent weeks and has been tipped to leave Stamford Bridge after the end of the season, with Paris Saint-Germain a possible destination.
But Mourinho insisted the Brazil playmaker was going nowhere and had a long-term future at Chelsea.
“He just signed a contract a few months ago. He’s one of the players with the best contracts, a long-term contract,” the manager said of the 23-year-old. “He’s in the best period of his career. Obviously, we don’t want to sell.”
Chelsea are, however, close to completing a £4.5 million ($6.7 million, 6.3 million euros) deal for Nathan, the 19-year-old Atletico Paranaense playmaker.
“He’s a player that our structure followed, and our structure thinks is a player with potential for the future,” Mourinho explained.
“If the deal is to close, I will try to help him, as I try to help everyone, to become a Chelsea player.
“But he’s not a player in my squad now, or a player I’m waiting for. I’m focused just on my job and my team.
“My team I love. My squad I love. The objective we are fighting for, I love it too.”
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