Chelsea v West Brom
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed Eden Hazard was dropped for the Champions League clash with Schalke after losing his passport following an unsanctioned trip to France, but has said the incident is now closed.
Hazard, 22, travelled to watch former club Lille on Sunday but had complications in getting back in time for training on Monday, with the missed session causing him to be left out of Mourinho’s squad in midweek.
The Portuguese was not happy that Hazard had been absent from training but now insists the club will move on.
“He went to a foreign country when he shouldn’t have,” Mourinho said.
“On top of that he lost his passport which didn’t allow him to be back in training, which is obviously unacceptable.
“It is over. No more consequences, the consequence was not to play which is the worst thing that can happen to a player. Case over, he is a very good kid and there are no problems.
“It was not a big story. Every player knows me and knows my reaction, the group is always more important than any player.”
The Blues ended up winning 3-0 without Hazard and Mourinho confirmed he will be available for selection for the today’s Premier League clash with Steve Clarke’s West Brom.
“I think he (Hazard) reacted well because he apologised to me and to the club,” he said.
“Of course the apology was not accepted because it is something I couldn’t accept but it is over so now it is something that doesn’t exist any more.
“He is selected and ready to play and I believe he has the appetite to play because he loves playing and I didn’t allow him to play the last game. It was a bit of a risk to not play him, speaking in terms of pure football, because he is a player who could have helped us win an important match.”
When asked if last weekend’s shock defeat at Newcastle was the first time the players had seen a different side of his character, Mourinho replied: “Yes. Because the defeat against Everton was a consequence of what football can be, you never know when you are going to lose or win.
“The defeat against Basle was a very strange one but in the game against Newcastle my feeling was not good from the first minute. For the new ones, with the ones I work with for the first time, maybe it was the first time they felt me but I don’t want to be scary.
“I just want to influence their mentality. Make them stronger and tougher and more professional and with more ambition and not to hide behind a couple of good results.
“They have the right mentality, which they showed me against Schalke, I will make them stronger. The reaction against Schalke was what I wanted.”
Meanwhile Mourinho has hit out at the Premier League fixture list and it’s compilers, claiming they are laughing at the club.
Mourinho’s unrest stems from the fact that Chelsea are the only English team to have been involved in Champions League football who must return to domestic action on Saturday rather than Sunday.
“I think they laugh,” he said. “They know what they can do and laugh because I can do nothing. The people who decide the fixtures, I don’t know who they are but what I know is that they think we’re special and give us the right fixtures.
“We’re the only ones who play Wednesday and Saturday.
“I feel our match is very special because from every English team involved in European competitions, especially the ones involved in Champions League matches, we’re the only team that play Saturday.”
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