Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is focused only on Wembley and not the future as he refused to dwell on Nemanja Matic’s two-match suspension which rules the midfielder out of Sunday’s English League Cup final with Tottenham Hotspur.
The Serbia midfielder was banned for violent conduct after reacting furiously to a challenge by Burnley’s Ashley Barnes in last Saturday’s Premier League draw.
The automatic three-match ban was reduced to two in mitigation, but the Blues announced they were “appalled” and “frustrated” by the decision not to absolve the midfielder.
Mourinho has lamented a “clear campaign” against his side this season, but hopes he will not have further reason to complain in “a final we have to win” as he bids for a first trophy of his second spell.
He hopes Sunday’s officials, led by referee Anthony Taylor, operate at their optimum.
Mourinho believes the good relationship he has with Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino means fourth official Craig Pawson will have a quiet afternoon.
Mourinho is bidding to win the League Cup for a third time.
Mourinho was speaking 10 years to the day since winning his first trophy as Chelsea boss, following a 3-2 defeat of Liverpool in the 2005 League Cup final.
Chelsea went on to win the championship for the first time in 50 years that season and this term are bidding for a first Premier League title in five years.
“I don’t believe that anyone involved in this game doesn’t want to make his best. I don’t believe in another thing. I believe all three teams (Chelsea, Spurs, the officials) will go with the same…. with the same ambition – to do very well and hopefully even the players that like to complicate things, hopefully even these players they (will) try to make the final, a big final.” ~ Mourinho
Chelsea beat Spurs 3-0 on December 3 at Stamford Bridge, but in the return fixture on New Year’s Day lost 5-3 at White Hart Lane.
And the Blues lost to Tottenham in the 2008 final.
Chelsea have had a full week’s preparation, while Spurs exited the Europa League to Fiorentina on Thursday, with the Blues’ on-loan forward Mohamed Salah on target.