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Mourinho blasts petty Italian press

SoccerNews in Serie A 27 Sep 2008

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Jose Mourinho fired back on Saturday at press criticism that he lacked respect in failing to turn up to a post match interview.

Following Inter's 1-0 win over Lecce on Wednesday, Mourinho sent his number two Beppe Baresi to talk to the press instead of going himself.

It was something he often did with his number two at Chelsea Steve Clarke and which Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson almost always did with his assistant Carlos Queiroz as the fiery Scot fell out with media organisations.

But after being accused of lacking respect, and of avoiding a television interview at the same time as Juventus boss and another former Chelsea handler Claudio Ranieri – with whom Mourinho has been having an ongoing spat this season – the Portuguese hit back.

“I studied Italian for five hours a day for several months to be able to communicate with you journalists, with the fans and you think that I lacked respect for you,” he said.

“And then you speak about Ranieri who after five years (actually four) in England had trouble saying good morning and good afternoon.

“Who is he? Only the (Inter) president (Massimo) Moratti can tell me not to send Baresi to a press conference and no-one else.

“You didn't respect Baresi. The concept is clear, if you haven't understood it I can do you a drawing.”

Mourinho also drew on his experiences in the English Premiership to argue his case.

“The Premiership is the best product and Sir Alex Ferguson is considered one of the best coaches in the world,” he added.

“And yet tell me how many times he didn't go to see the press? Many and no-one has ever accused him of lacking respect.

“In my short career I've sent an assistant 20 times to talk to the press and the 21st time there's talk of a lack of respect. What's the problem?

“You're not in love with football as I thought you would be. All I can see is that everyone is obsessed with little things and not the things that count.”

Finally turning to Sunday's crucial Milan derby against AC Milan, Mourinho refused to get worked up about the importance of the tie.

“I expect a normal match. In a derby it's often the team in the worse position that wins and not the better one.

“It's better that Milan won their last few games because they're arriving at the derby on a par pyschologically.”

Mourinho found an ally in Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti who backed the former Chelsea and Porto boss for avoiding a televised clash with Ranieri.

“He's done lots of things I agree with for example avoiding a clash with Ranieri on TV,” he said.

“Remote clashes between coaches shouldn't happen after matches. In that type of situation I only want to talk about my team and hence I think Mourinho did the right thing.”

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