Jose Mourinho has told Chelsea and their supporters not to accept taking defeats quite so graciously after responding to their 2-1 home setback to Liverpool on Sunday.
Liverpool took 2-0 lead after 30 minutes after some questionable defending by the Blues allowed Trent Alexander-Arnold to fire in from a short free-kick before Roberto Firmino planted a free header into the Chelsea net.
But Chelsea grew into the game and missed a host of chances to draw the game after N’Golo Kante had reduced the deficit with a fine individual run and strike, and leading manager Frank Lampard to bemoan what might have been for his side.
And with Lampard’s history at the club likely to buy him more time from both owner Roman Abramovich and their supporters than perhaps the likes of Antonio Conte and certainly Maurizio Sarri were afforded, Mourinho had a stern warning.
Speaking in his new role as pundit for Sky Sports, the former Blues manager warned them not to accept failure as an option or they’d end up risking their “big club status” if the bar is set too low.
Asked about his thoughts to Chelsea’s players being applauded off the pitch, Mourinho replied: “I hope they don’t get used to it. That’s a very important thing.
“When you start accepting defeats just because your team played well and just because your players gave their best and they had a performance for people to be proud of in terms of that attitude and commitment… I think when you get used to it is when the big clubs stop to be big clubs.
“So I don’t think they get used to it. But I think it shows that people are ready for what this season is going to be for them.
“These people are ready to support one of the best professionals I have ever worked with and a manager with potential and I think they’re ready to accept what this season is going to be.
“You look today at the reality of the performance and the reality of the result, you look at the numbers – Liverpool is 10 points ahead of Chelsea.
“So let’s make it clear and objective: Chelsea is not going to fight for the title. So let’s support what looks like is their philosophy which is to give time for the team, for the players, for the manager, to grow together.”
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