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Final whistle verdict: Prepared but punished

Jose Mourinho identified problems at both ends of the pitch as the primary reasons for our defeat at Leicester City.

The manager was pleased with the fight his team showed in the final half-hour, but lamented defensive mistakes made for the home side’s goals before that, and then profligacy up front during our best spell of the match late on. Those two factors combined to ensure we left the King Power Stadium empty-handed. Mourinho began at the back…

‘I worked for four days on this match,’ he said. ‘I prepared everything related to the opposition.

‘I identified four movements where they score almost all of their goals. My players got all that information and training in the last three days. From the four types of situation I identified we conceded the first and the second goal. I think they listened and they are good enough, but the mistakes were there.

‘I don’t want to focus only on the two goals we conceded, because in the past four or five matches we were defensively good and we had clean sheets,’ he continued.

‘We also have another problem which is the number of goals our attacking players are scoring, or in this case aren’t scoring. When we make defensive mistakes we are punished because we don’t score enough goals. The team pays for the number of goals our attacking players aren’t scoring.’

There were aspects of our game that satisfied Mourinho
‘The good thing is the spirit - in the last 30 mins they tried, they gave everything they had, they scored one goal, and they could have scored more.

‘That’s the positive thing that makes me leave the dressing room with a feeling that isn’t so bad as the result, because in the last 30 mins they were a team.

‘They accepted the risk and the risk was enormous. If we didn’t play well like we did it could have been a fat result. Nobody was afraid of that. We went for the rescue and we were almost there.

‘They [Leicester] fought with everything, they defended with everything, and the ballboys were amazing too. I say the point about the ballboys because it’s a disgrace for the Premier League, but I want to make it clear I don’t want that story to be in front of a result Leicester deserved.’

Mourinho was asked about the change in formation made at 2-0 down and the introduction of Loic Remy to the attack
‘There was more of a threat especially because the lack of confidence of Diego in front of goal is bringing him to other areas. When he isn’t scoring and he isn’t fresh-minded in front of goal he is leaving the area, his movements are almost all from the centre to the sides, and he is coming deep with the central defender pressing him.

‘He made two great movements as a striker in the last two matches. One was the own goal against Porto and another one was today when normally he has to score.

‘When I saw that situation with him leaving the box, I put Remy on. When you have a second striker you reduce the area between the lines which is very important for us. I put the second man in the box and I took a defender off. When a team like Chelsea plays with a typical 4-4-2 without a number 10 we lose our target in the build-up. Losing 2-0 I tried everything and I kept the number 10 on and I took the defender off.’

Eden Hazard was withdrawn with an injury during the first half having initially tried to play on
‘He made the decision in a few seconds. When he came off he said he couldn’t do it, a couple of seconds later he said he would try, and when he went back on two seconds later he immediately decided to go back off.’

It is not long until the January transfer window but that is far from Mourinho’s mind, with the manager insisting it is up to the current group of players to turn things around starting with the pair of home games coming up
‘I don’t think it is right I go to the board and say these players are not good and we need to spend 50 or 100 or whatever. We have these players and it is with these players we have to go, and the players that are not performing well must feel attacked in their pride, in their self-esteem and they have to do everything to get results in a humble way.

‘I don’t think they can feel they are top players or they are superstars. At the moment they have to be humble, they have to look to the Leicester boys and feel that they are the stars, they are the top players.

‘They have to look to Sunderland and Watford and say: we are at the same level as you are. The players have to put their feet on their ground and be humble. We are where Sunderland are, we are below Watford by 10 points. The next two matches we play at Stamford Bridge we have to look to these opponents in a humble way.’

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