Sat, Mar 05, 2011 - Page 19 News List

LFP: Mourinho defiant following criticism

CONFRONTATIONAL:Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has three years to run on his contract, but he has hinted that he could be on his way at the end of the season

AP, MADRID

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is adamant he won’t change his confrontational style despite a brusque couple of days building up to Thursday’s 7-0 win over Malaga.

Mourinho has waged an ongoing war of words with Spanish media, and on Wednesday the Portuguese coach ridiculed his Madrid predecessor Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to join Malaga.

On Thursday, Mourinho deflected further scrutiny that he was damaging Madrid’s image, saying it “is not my problem.”

“The day people aren’t happy with me, I go. It’s not a problem,” the former Inter and Chelsea boss said after the win at the Santiago Bernabeu. “Obviously not now because we’re in the middle of the season, but it’s a situation that needs to be analyzed at the close of the season.”

Mourinho was subdued in his answers, but did not tone down his criticism over the league scheduling, which led him to call one journalist a “hypocrite” on Wednesday after being challenged over his general outbursts.

“I have a lot of experiences, a lot of years in football in completely different cultures. I’m ready for everything,” Mourinho said. “When one hits you, it’s like a boxer, you have to be ready for the second, third punch. But when they hit you 50, 60, 70 [times] — it doesn’t matter then.”

“Again, I’m just responding to the hypocrisy. In a hypocritical world, to not be a hypocrite is a big problem, a bad defect that I will always carry,” he said.

Mourinho still has another three years to run on his contract, although he has already hinted he could exit at the end of the season. His discourse on Thursday may not improve his relationship with club president Florentino Perez.

“For the head of the club we shouldn’t challenge these types of things,” he said. “We should shut up and be cool, people don’t care about these things.”

Madrid pegged back to within seven points of Spanish leaders Barcelona with the victory. While the league race looks difficult, Mourinho has taken Madrid to the Copa del Rey final with a good chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2004.

“With me everything is easy,” Mourinho said. “If the coach goes, we stay friends forever. One day I’ll come back as an adversary, because these things always seem to happen with me and my former clubs.”

Mourinho isn’t sure if an injury Cristiano Ronaldo picked up on Thursday is serious.

“I don’t know. It seems like a serious injury, that’s the negative note from the game,” Mourinho said. “Especially as Ronaldo doesn’t just do small things.”

Ronaldo limped off with a muscle problem in his left leg after scoring his third goal in the 77th minute. The Portugal forward matched Barcelona forward Lionel Messi’s league-high tally of 27 goals with his 37th goal of the season that ended a five-game drought without a goal.

“I don’t think I’ll play Sunday” against Racing Santander, Ronaldo was quoted as saying. “I don’t think it’s too serious but there’s still a lot of season left.”

However, Mourinho soon followed up his initial words with more encouraging ones over his star player’s health.

“If Cristiano has something it’s something minor, it’s no drama,” Mourinho said.

Meanwhile, Almeria stay rooted to the bottom of the Spanish first division after a 1-1 home draw Racing Santander.

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