Chelsea manager Mourinho plays down medical row

Manchester, Aug 14 (IANS) Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on Friday defended his criticism of the English Premier League (EPL) giant’s medical staff, saying that disagreements are healthy.

Mourinho has been in the eye of a raging storm after an expletive-filled outburst against club doctor Eva Carneiro and physio Jon Fearn after the duo raced onto the pitch to treat injured midfielder Eden Hazard during second half stoppage time of their 2-2 draw against Swansea City.

The move temporarily reduced Chelsea – whose goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was sent off earlier in the match – to eight men which Mourinho felt left the team hamstrung in the closing stages of the game.

The volatile Portuguese coach later blamed the duo for lacking the ability to understand the nuances of the game and have banned them from attending future matches and training sessions.

The move has attracted a hail of criticism but Mourinho has stoutly defended his action.

“I don’t want to run away from [the incident]. I accept the question and understand.

“First of all, I want to say I have a fantastic medical department, with top doctors, more than a dozen professionals, a very good relationship with them and, as they tell me all the time, they were never praised so much as in last few years. I praise them lots of times. They don’t forget that, I don’t,” Mourinho told the media at the Etihad Stadium here.

“We have disagreements during this period [but] we need disagreements to improve. We work together.”

Mourinho also stated that his decision to barr the duo from the Chelsea bench is a temporary one.

“Jon Fearn and Dr Carneiro will not be on the bench but that doesn’t mean that Sunday is the rest of our season or the rest of our careers,” he said. “My decision (this weekend) does not mean they won’t be on the bench in the future.”

“It’s important to be on the bench for some; for others it’s more important what they do behind the scenes for the good of the team.

The 52-year-old, declined to address accusations of sexism relating to his treatment of Carneiro, but reiterated that he has a healthy relationship with Chelsea staff and does not see himself as ruthless.

“The relationships of the majority of those who work with me are open to disagreement, open to criticism. The game is a very emotional space for every one of us. Football is football and the match is the match. Everything in the match can be different,” he remarked.

“The meeting I had with the medical department told me that the way we are doing things together since two years ago allows us to have this kind of relationship,” he added. “I speak about myself, not about other managers, and I am far from being ruthless. Far, far. I have a fantastic relationship with almost everyone who works with me.”

“I am open to mistakes, open to communication, I am open to dialogue and criticism. I make mistakes and as people in my medical staff were saying to me yesterday, ‘We work together, we improve together’.”

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