Agitated Mourinho walks out of media conference
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho walked out of a news conference on Monday ahead of a Champions League match at Steaua Bucharest after becoming increasingly agitated at questions about his squad selections.
Mourinho has spent weeks responding to questions about Juan Mata being dropped from the team. Now that the midfielder has been recalled, Mourinho was frustrated to be quizzed on Kevin De Bruyne’s absence for Tuesday’s game.
“You have this tendency to only ask about the guys that are not selected,” Mourinho said. “See you tomorrow,”
With that, the Portuguese coach made a swift exit off the platform, leaving midfielder Frank Lampard sitting there in front of reporters.
Before then, Mourinho had explained why De Bruyne was left in London alongside his fellow Belgian Eden Hazard, who has an ankle injury.
“This is fantastic because nobody asks me about Mata,” Mourinho said. “You are three weeks speaking about Mata, and now you are speaking about Kevin de Bruyne. So you are not interested in the players that are playing? You are interested in the players that are not playing.
“He was not selected. It was my decision. Only 11 can play and 18 can be selected. I try to decide by what they do on the pitch when they play and what they do in training.”
Mata was recalled after impressing against Tottenham after coming on as a second-half substitute as Chelsea recovered a 1-1 draw.
But Mourinho said he “didn’t like” De Bruyne’s performance in the League Cup victory over Swindon last week or “the way he was training.”
The Europa League winners have little margin for error in Romania after losing to Basel in their Group E opener.