Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

This Wasn't My Team,says Forious Jose; the Chelsea Boss Attacks His Champions' Lack of Fight and Poor Attitude as They Lose Again in the North East

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

This Wasn't My Team,says Forious Jose; the Chelsea Boss Attacks His Champions' Lack of Fight and Poor Attitude as They Lose Again in the North East

Article excerpt

Byline: LEO SPALL

M'boro 2 (Pogatetz 80 Viduka 90) Chelsea 1 (Shevchenko 16 )

WHEN Jose Mourinho was preparing for the start of the season he claimed that dropping a few points in the opening games would not be a drama.

But after last night's 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough, Chelsea's head coach has changed his mind.

If the Portuguese gets anything other than a convincing performance from his team at Blackburn on Sunday, the show he will treat his players to would probably be good enough to sell out a West End theatre.

He said: "I've managed for six or seven years. That was not a Jose Mourinho team at Middlesbrough. I don't want to go for excuses any more. I don't think it was because of fitness that we didn't play better, it was because of attitude.

"Their attitude was better than ours, their pace, intensity, and desire was bigger. Our performance was a good example of how you cannot play away from home in this country, where there is always emotion around and little things can stimulate the home team.

"Chelsea became champions in the last two seasons by fighting for every second of every match and that didn't happen at Middlesbrough."

Mourinho's players were left to stew in the dressing room at the Riverside and they were taken through each of his painful moments today.

Talk of a short preseason and a lack of preparation was banished and even after a cooling-off period the head coach's assessment would have been a real eyeopener for some of the new recruits.

Andriy Shevchenko, for one, must be wondering what will happen next.

In his first competitive game for Chelsea he enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win against Manchester City but struggled to adjust to the pace of the game and failed to score.

Last night he demonstrated he is a fast learner where English football is concerned by scoring a scrappy, slid-in opening goal after 16 minutes and getting a talking to from referee Howard Webb for an overly physical challenge.

The Ukraine international also showed why he has been widely regarded as one of the world's best strikers over the last few years with a curling firsthalf free-kick that brought a great save in the top corner by Mark Schwarzer. …

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