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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 16:10 GMT
Mourinho angry about pitch claims
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Mourinho claims a poor pitch does not help his team
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has denied that they have let the pitch at Stamford Bridge deteriorate ahead of their match with Barcelona.

The two teams meet on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League tie and Barcelona defender Silvinho had questioned the pitch.

But Mourinho said: "We know the pitch is not good, the criticism is fair.

"But only stupid people can think a team like Chelsea with its quality can be happy with a pitch like this."

With heavy sarcasm, he added: "Do we have no technical players? No skilful players? Just players who kick the ball and run?

"Because we have no technical players we need a potato field, so we play on a potato field."

Silvinho, who spent two years with Arsenal, had said: "I cannot believe it.

"I have heard they are making the condition of their pitch worse. I've heard many complaints about the pitch."

But Mourinho said that Chelsea had done all they could to keep the pitch in good condition.

"Our pitch is not good," he added. "You don't need to tell us the pitch is not good.

"London does not have Mediterranean weather. Stamford Bridge is not an open pitch. It doesn't see the sun often.

"But it's not possible to improve. The only thing we can do is take care of it the best we can.

"This season we have not had one single training session at Stamford Bridge apart from one for photos and an open day for supporters.

"We were afraid to change the pitch because last season when we did it we had some problems, especially the Scott Parker problem, where there was a very clear relationship between the injury and the pitch."

And Mourinho hinted that Barcelona were not in a position to talk about the condition of other team's pitches.

"Maybe you should ask Barcelona why they have so many injuries," he said.

"They have a lot of knee problems. Maybe their pitch is too good."

News conference: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho


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