Chelsea manager JosÃ© Mourinho has insisted that the welfare of his players is primary, but has refused to explain why his medical staff is being punished.
Doctor Eva Caneiro and physiotherapist Jon Fearn will not be on the bench against City on Sunday, as Mourinho fumed when they attended to Hazard in the league opener against Swansea, reducing his men momentarily to nine.
Mourinho indicated after the game, that the pair should’ve noticed Hazard didn’t require treatment, despite the referee giving them leave to enter the pitch. And maintains that his players’ safety comes first.
Asked by reporters whether he was in breach of General Medical Council guidelines on patient safety by reprimanding Carneiro and Fearn, Mourinho said: “I had a meeting with my medical department [on Friday]. The first thing I said to my medical department â€“ and I repeated it three times because I wanted to start the meeting with them having no doubts about it â€“ was if we know, and it is easy to know by many ways, if one player has a problem, the player is more important than the result.
“He is more important than the manager, he is even more important than the referee and, [even] if the referee does not give you permission to go to the pitch, you go. You go.
“It does not matter if the referee is not happy with that. It does not matter if the manager is not happy with that. If you know â€“ if you feel, and it is easy to know when to feel because there are many examples of it â€“ you go and you don’t think twice.
“Now that this is clear, let’s go and speak about other things related to our jobs together. The thing I repeated one, two and three times, is that the player is more important than the manager, than the referee, than the result. It doesn’t matter.”
Pressed on why he had relieved Carneiro and Fearn of their matchday responses, though, Mourinho would not be moved.
“You can make the questions and we don’t stop you making the questions,” he continued, “but you cannot make me answer you. I don’t answer.”