Jose Mourinho reacted sarcastically to suggestions he is playing mind games by talking down Chelsea’s Barclays Premier League title challenge.
A 1-0 defeat of Manchester City on Monday means third-placed Chelsea could go top of the Premier League on Saturday if they beat Newcastle and City and Arsenal fail to beat Norwich and Liverpool, respectively.
Following the win at the Etihad Stadium, which ended City’s 100% home record, Mourinho downplayed his side’s chances and he did so again on the eve of the contest with the Magpies, who won the reverse fixture in November.
Asked if he was employing psychological games, Mourinho said: “Everything I say is mind games. Everything I do is mind games. Everything is mind games.
“The only thing that is not mind games is the results. That’s not mind games.”
Mourinho, whose side are unbeaten in nine in the Premier League, believes it is City and Arsenal who should be regarded as favourites.
“We are there because we are doing very well or because maybe Man City and Arsenal are not doing as well as they should with the conditions they have,” the Portuguese said.
“If we have the chance to win, we are not going to say we don’t want to, but we have not the same responsibilities, that’s for sure.
“I’m not saying we are not going to win. I’m saying we are outsiders.”
Mourinho was critical of Alvaro Negredo’s conduct in Chelsea’s win at City, claiming the Spain striker tried to get Nemanja Matic sent off.
The Portuguese was asked about West Ham challenging Andy Carroll’s dismissal against Swansea, when many believe Chico Flores overreacted to an altercation.
Mourinho, who made it clear he was not discussing the Carroll case, believes those who feign injury should be punished.
The Chelsea boss said: “He (Negredo) knew Matic had a yellow card. Matic jumped just in front of me in a very clean way, and the other guy immediately (holds his face). He was trying (for a) second yellow card.
“(Referee) Mike Dean was there, the fourth official was there and the linesman was there, and they decided between them no yellow card.
“But if (there was) no yellow card for Matic, then for me yellow card for the other guy.
“He deserves the punishment if he’s trying to get the guy sent off.
“I’m not speaking about Andy Carroll. I’m speaking generally. You have to attack the guys who try to get people sent off.”