Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims he continues to have a good working relationship with his medical staff following the saga surrounding club doctor Eva Carneiro over the past week.
Carneiro provoked the ire of Mourinho in the closing stages of last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Swansea City when she ran onto the field to treat Eden Hazard.
Mourinho was angry that Carneiro’s intervention briefly left Chelsea with nine players on the field, following goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois’ earlier dismissal.
The manager’s furious reaction and subsequent criticism has been viewed dimly by many, who believe Carneiro was doing her job as a member of the medical team.
In a media conference on Friday, Mourinho spoke about the issue, but was reluctant to answer more questions as he preferred to focus on Sunday’s trip to Manchester City.
“I don’t want to run away from it,” he said. “I accept the question, and understand.
“First of all, I want to say I have a fantastic medical department, with a top doctor, more than a dozen professionals, and very good relations with them and, as they tell me all the time, they were never praised so much as in the last few years.
“I praise them lots of times. They don’t forget that, I don’t. We have disagreements during this period, we need disagreements to improve. We work together.”
Mourinho did confirm that both Carneiro and head physiotherapist Jon Fearn will not be on the bench at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
“Your question about the bench…For some people it’s important. For others, it’s not… It’s my decision,” he said.
“I have seven assistants, only four can go on bench. Seven kitmen, only two [can go on the bench]. Medical, only two on the bench.
“Dr Fearn and Dr Carneiro will not be on the bench, but that doesn’t mean for the rest of the season.
“My decision [this weekend] does not mean they won’t be on the bench in the future. If you want to speak to me about football, I’m here. If you want to ask about other things, I’m not here.”