Jose Mourinho reported in his pre-match press conference that John Terry, Samuel Eto’o and Eden Hazard have not recovered from their respective injuries and will therefore not be available for selection for Sunday’s game at Liverpool.
Eto’o has a minor knee irritation and missed our game with Atletico on Tuesday, during which Terry picked up an ankle injury. Hazard has been out since 8 April and our manager gave an update on the trio.
‘All of them are injured,’ said Mourinho.
‘John doesn’t make this weekend and I don’t think he can make next week, but let’s wait. There is no chance for Sunday and a little one for Wednesday.
‘Hazard is out for Sunday, and I think he is out for Wednesday, but let’s wait.’
There wasn’t a spare seat in the house for the press conference, with the journalists that had packed out the club’s media conference room at Cobham keen to hear what side Mourinho would be selecting for the game at Anfield.
‘The most important thing for me is my club and the supporters of my club. I have to defend my club and I have to defend Chelsea supporters. If we are not helped to try to follow our dreams and our objectives it’s one more reason for us to close in, to try to think about us and only about us.
‘I think Chelsea fans would like their club to be respected and to get the respect their club deserves. Chelsea fans know what Chelsea did not just for Chelsea Football Club but also for English football in the last 10 years.
‘Chelsea have been the most important club in this country defending this country in European competitions. Chelsea are the last club to be European champions, and they’re the last club to win the Europa League. It’s the club with the record presence in semi-finals. Chelsea fans think Chelsea deserve more respect than Chelsea is getting. That’s what they think first of all.
‘The second thing they want is for Chelsea to go to Liverpool and play as always at the maximum and by giving everything they have. We are going to try to win – with which players it is our decision, not your decision.’
When pushed further about his possible team for the game against Liverpool, our manager said the following:
‘You want me to laugh or to cry? I can’t say the truth because I don’t feel free. I can’t speak. Every time I speak there is a consequence. Even if I say the referee was amazing that is a reason for me to be with a charge so I don’t feel free at all.’
Like us, Atletico Madrid play on Sunday and it was left to Mourinho to explain to the reporters why that was.
‘Last weekend they played on the Friday and we played on the Saturday. Luckily for us they play Valencia, and Valencia played yesterday in the Europa League and Valencia cannot play on the Saturday.
‘If they were playing another team instead of Valencia they would be playing today and they would have 48 hours more than us to rest.’
This week’s headlines have been dominated by the sacking of David Moyes by Manchester United. Our manager was asked if Chelsea fans had anything to worry about.
‘Of course not. I don’t know how anybody could think about that. I left Real Madrid to come specifically to Chelsea. I signed a four-year contract with Chelsea.
‘I told Chelsea they never have to worry about me because I don’t want to leave. I will stay here until the club wants me to leave. No job would move me from Chelsea.’
Our boss also repeated contract negotiations with John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole were on-going and that all parties wanted the same result.
We are now into the final few weeks of the season but Mourinho was not drawn on dishing out an end-of-term report before our future both in the Premier League and in the Champions League is decided.
‘I think match after match. When you give everything you have, when you try everything, when you work hard, when the group is good and when the group respects the club and the fans, you wait for the end of the season and you see what destiny has for you.’
Following the press conference, Jose Mourinho said of Tito Vilanova, the former Barcelona manager:
‘I wasn’t aware of the news that Tito Vilanova’s condition had got worse. I was very saddened to hear this and I send him my very best wishes.’