By Michael Cantillon
Jose Mourinho has vented his fury at football rule-makers for their strong “desire to suspend” Diego Costa.
The Chelsea manager claims he would not want another Costa in his squad because the authorities would make sure he was not available for selection.
The striker, who is serving a three-match domestic suspension for violent conduct, returns to Mourinho’s squad for Tuesday night’s Champions League trip to his former club Porto.
Speaking at a press conference in Portugal on Monday evening, Mourinho said: “I am happy to have only one Costa because the desire to suspend him is so big that we wouldn’t have players to start the game.
“I think we would lose every game because the desire to suspend him is so big. I’m happy to only have one and let him play until they decide to suspend him again.”
Costa was given a retrospective red card by the Football Association for his behaviour in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal nine days ago.
Mourinho also spoke of his team’s performance in the 2-2 Premier League draw with Newcastle at the weekend and made clear that he is searching for his side to play as they did in the second-half at St. James’ Park, not the first.
“When you play the way we did in the second half it’s because we can play that way, so I think it’s not a question of if we can, we need to want, and if we want, we need to want for 90 minutes,” explained the manager.
“You can win matches by playing well for 45 minutes, but normally you have to play better for more than 45 minutes.”
When asked how many “untouchables” were in his squad Mourinho simply replied, “Zero”, before insisting:
“Right now, we have fantastic players but football is about today, not yesterday.
“To be untouchable in football, only consistency can give you that status. To be a winner you dont need to win all the time, but to be a winner you must have a strong mentality every game, everyday. At this moment I don’t have untouchables.”
Addressing the game on Tuesday, Mourinho was under no illusions that his side face a difficult task at the Estádio do Drágao and is looking no further ahead than this match-up:
“Porto are good and the fact Porto are top of the Portuguese league is totally normal because of the quality of their squad.
“Away games in the Champions League are always difficult, they are a big side and want to win, but Porto know they will not face a weak team.”
“We are only favourites to win the group, not to win the Champions League. In February we will see, but not now.”
Mourinho also spoke of visiting the Porto museum and how he was looking forward to facing the club where he had so much success as a young manager.
“It’s emotional. You realise you were part of something special. It makes the heart soft.”
“The clash against Porto is special because it was the club that opened the doors for me to the world.”
Mourinho confirmed that he has everybody fit bar Thibaut Courtois, though he would not answer any questions about Iker Casillas after their somewhat troublesome relationship at Real Madrid:
“If you’re going to ask me about Casillas, I’m going to greet him at the beginning and the end. No questions more about it. There’s no point wasting time discussing it.”
By Michael Cantillon