Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mourinho's Focus Now Switches Back to League

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mourinho's Focus Now Switches Back to League

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt McGeehan

CHELSEA will learn their Champions League semi-final opponents today with manager Jose Mourinho preferring to focus on the Premier League.

Mourinho has cancelled his weekly media briefing ahead of Sunday's match at Swansea, preferring to turn his players' attention to ending Chelsea's three-match losing streak away from home at the Liberty Stadium.

Prior to the 3-1 loss at Paris St Germain - a result Chelsea overturned on Tuesday to reach the last four of the Champions League - the Blues were beaten at Aston Villa and Crystal Palace.

Mourinho attended a personal hearing on Wednesday following an improper conduct charge after he was sent to the stands by referee Chris Foy towards the end of a 1-0 loss at Villa Park.

But the Portuguese was on Thursday fined PS8,000 and warned as to his future conduct by the Football Association.

It is understood Mourinho is unhappy with the verdict and is waiting for the independent regulatory commission's written reasons before deciding how to respond and whether to appeal against the ruling.

It was the second time Mourinho had been sent to the stands this season.

Following his sending off against Cardiff in October, Mourinho accepted the charge and was fined PS8,000, but he was not prepared to leave the latest charge unchallenged.

He said: "It can be PS1. It's the principle."

Mourinho was dismissed after Ramires had been shown a red card for an over-the-top tackle on Karim El Ahmadi. As well as Ramires, Willian was sent off during the contest. The Chelsea manager came on to the pitch as a melee ensued involving players from both teams, with the substituted Gabriel Agbonlahor and Villa manager Paul Lambert also on the pitch.

The Portuguese claimed he was only attempting to cool tempers, and to ask Foy why he had not sent off Agbonlahor for accosting Ramires, but the referee was not interested and he dismissed the Chelsea manager. …

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