TV times frustrate Mourinho

15 March 2014 08:01

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has questioned why football's authorities are reluctant to alter the fixture schedule to accommodate English sides' European commitments.

Mourinho fails to understand why Chelsea must play at Aston Villa at 5:30pm on Saturday night ahead of Tuesday's Champions League last-16 second leg with Galatasaray, who played Karabukspor on Friday night due to their trip to London.

The Portuguese is also at a loss to explain why Premier League title rivals Manchester City were asked to play Wigan in the FA Cup last Sunday, at Barcelona in Europe on Wednesday night and in Saturday's early kick-off at Hull.

Mourinho was accused by Yaya Toure of being disrespectful by discussing other teams, but the Manchester City midfielder may agree with the Portuguese's latest comments.

"I really don't understand why City play Saturday," Mourinho said.

"And I'm speaking against me: I would prefer them to play today (Friday), if possible.

"I'm trying to get this for all of us, not just me. I don't understand why a team that comes from Europe, playing on Wednesday, must play (at) 12:45 on Saturday.

"I hope Yaya Toure doesn't tell me to shut up, but I don't understand why City have to play tomorrow at 12:45. Why don't City play at 5:30 and we play at 12:45?

"If they play 5:30, they have one more day to recover and if we play 12:45 we have one more day to recover.

"Am I stupid? I think everybody agrees. Maybe Yaya doesn't."

Mourinho has no problem with the television companies determining the schedules, but believes consultation with players and others in the game can result in the best for everyone.

The Blues boss added: "If we played on Friday night, (at) 7:45, it makes a difference to who? Less spectators at Villa Park? I don't think so. It'd be a full house, the same.

"And for television? It wouldn't make a difference. If it was the only match on TV, the (audience) share would be fantastic.

"Would it be good for Chelsea? Yes. Would it be good for English football? Yes."

Mourinho continues to argue that City, who have three games in hand and are nine points adrift, are the title favourites.

But Chelsea could extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 10 points with victory at Aston Villa as Arsenal and Liverpool each play on Sunday.

"We have 66 (points)," Mourinho said.

"Even if we get 27 from our nine matches, maybe it's not enough."

Asked if Chelsea could win all their remaining games, Mourinho replied: "No. If I go through the list, Aston Villa away is very difficult. Arsenal at home is difficult. Crystal Palace away, with Tony Pulis, the way the team are playing, is very difficult.

"Stoke at home is difficult, the style of play they have. Swansea, in that period, will be looking for the last points they need to survive.

"Sunderland will be fighting for their lives. Liverpool is very difficult.

"And maybe the last match against Cardiff (on May 11), they are playing for survival. Every one of the nine matches we have to play is difficult and dangerous.

"I lost four points (in two matches) with West Bromwich. Three against Stoke in one match. Two against West Ham. So every match you can lose points."

Mourinho is not familiar with his rivals' run-ins, knowing only their weekly opponents, as he chases a first win at Villa Park. It is the only top-flight ground in England at which he has not won.

Chelsea won a tight duel 2-1 in August and Mourinho expects something similar on Saturday.

"When they are at the top of their game, everyone finds it difficult to play against them," he said.

Source: PA