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28 Feb 2005 10:21
Controversial Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho insists he doesn’t care if he is loved or loathed as long as his team keep winning.
The Portuguese could face censure after being sent from the dug-out during the 3-2 extra-time win over Liverpool in the League Cup final at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday, the first piece of silverware since Roman Abramovich started pouring his personal fortune into the London club.
“I want to win trophies,” said Mourinho. “Not to be loved.
You can say what you want to about me, it doesn’t put pressure on me.
“The day that the Chelsea fans or the Chelsea board want me to go, then I will go the next morning.
“So you cannot put pressure on me—no way.
Sunday’s latest flashpoint came after Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard scored a late own goal to send the final into extra time, which Chelsea used to claim victory.
As soon as the ball went in off Gerrard’s head, Mourinho turned towards Liverpool fans in the stand behind him and put his finger to his lips in a “be quiet” gesture.
His action was interpreted as incitement and Mourinho was soon being escorted up the tunnel and obliged to watch the rest of the match on television.
He has insisted his gesture was aimed at the press, not Liverpool fans.
“I was trying to say to the press, ‘Be cool’,” he explained, mindful of the criticism his team faced after recent defeats to Newcastle, in the FA Cup, and Barcelona, in the Champions League, which had prompted many observers to believe that the pressure was beginning to tell.
“I was telling them to put their pens in their pockets, because with 10 minutes to go I can imagine what everyone was going to say. If the press think they can put pressure on my group, there is no chance.”
On police advice, the fourth official asked Mourinho to leave his technical area and he watched the remainder of the game on a television monitor.
It was only after the intervention of Didier Drogba that he was persuaded to return to the pitch to join the post-match celebrations.
When he did, he then seemed to compound his offence, standing in front of the same group of fans and waving.
“I was waving to my wife, who was in the first tier,” he said.
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, by contrast, was a model of restraint.
“I think when you are winning 1-0 and you have two clear chances to finish the game and at the end to score an own goal, you can say you had bad luck,” said the Spaniard.
“It’s difficult to play against a team like Chelsea. If you think about the forwards they have, we had to try to control them and play on the counter-attack. We had two chances and we can’t do more.”
Gerrard’s own goal came 11 minutes from the end of regulation time after John Arne Riise had given Liverpool a first-minute lead.
Seventeen minutes into extra time, Drogba put Chelsea ahead, with Mateja Kezman adding a third two minutes later.
Liverpool pulled one back within a minute, with Antonio Nunez forcing the ball over the line from close range. That, though, served only to give the scoreline a flattering gloss; Chelsea were well worth their victory.—Sapa-AFP
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