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Mourinho under fire after Inter no show

SoccerNews in Serie A 25 Sep 2008

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Jose Mourinho has created a storm in the Italian media after failing to turn up for his post match press interviews following Inter Milan's 1-0 home win over Lecce.

The Portuguese coach was reknown for sending his number two Steve Clarke to press appointments during his time at Chelsea in England and he did likewise on Wednesday night asking assistant Beppe Baresi to talk to Sky Sport cameras and then the waiting written press.

But the move went down like a lead balloon with the Italian journalists used to almost unfettered access to coaches and they accused the former FC Porto boss of lacking respect.

It meant that Baresi was forced onto the defensive in his interviews, explaining the move.

“We don't want to offend anyone, we're doing a bit of job sharing. To become the best assistant coach in the world I also have to get some experience in front of the TV cameras,” he said, before admitting that he didn't even like talking to journalists.

The in-studio panel at Sky Sport seemed outraged by the move and complained bitterly to Baresi, even claiming that as he was not the head coach he wouldn't be able to answer questions about Inter's tactics.

The assistant looked impassive but then Lecce coach Mario Beretta also criticised Mourinho's no-show.

“I'm not sure it's a choice that's offended anyone. I don't want to teach anything to anyone but maybe he should show a little respect to the fans, journalists, coach and players of Lecce,” he said of Mourinho before reminding him that Italy is not England.

“Every country has its customs. I also get my coaches to do interviews during the week but the match-day is a bit different.”

Mourinho was up to his old tricks in every sense of the word against Lecce as his Italian champions struggled to break down stubborn opponents.

Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic almost broke the deadlock in the first half with a crashing free-kick that came back off the bar but Lecce held on doggedly.

Mourinho made a double substitution early in the second half, throwing on attacking Brazilian full-back Maicon and winger Ricardo Quaresma.

But with time running out he then stuck Argentine forward Julio Cruz on as a third striker — alongside Ibrahimovic and Adriano — hauling off left back Cristian Chivu to make way.

That left Inter with three forwards and two wingers on the pitch.

That paid off as seven minutes after entering the fray Cruz struck the only goal of the game, pouncing on an Ibrahimovic knock-down to hit home a crisp drive from the edge of the box.

It was an attacking tactical switch that Mourinho often used successfully at Chelsea when chasing a goal.

“We were up against a team that keeps 10 players behind the ball and were continuously doubling up (on our players),” said Baresi.

“For our part we were a bit slow but we wanted to win at all costs, so much so that we changed our system four times.”

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