Mourinho: "Players the essence of my work"


"I will be a happier man tomorrow morning when we start training"

APPIANO GENTILE - Part two of José Mourinho's news conference on the first day of the 2008/09 season:

Besides your philosophy of work, is there a code of behaviour that the players have to respect? 
"I have a code and I have spoken to the team about it, but for me the most important thing is common sense. I can't ask the players to do things that I can't do, I only ask them to do what I can do too. If, for example, I get here an hour and a half before before training I can't accept a player arriving late. With common sense and communication, we won't have any problems. There might be small internal fines for lateness or forgetfulness, but I don't think the amount of the fine is important for players who earn e few  million euros. What counts is that training must start at ten if scheduled for that time. If there are 24 players on the pitch it's perfect. If there are only 14 I will just work with them because I won't accept anyone else."

And what happens if there are only 14? What will the others do?
"They will go home. And they will go when even when there's a match."

What has impressed you most in these first few days in Appiano Gentile?
"The essence of my work are the players. I really like working with the president, with Branca, with Oriali and the whole structure of the club. I'm a manager of human resources and I have to work with everybody, but the essence of my work is the players and at ten o'clock tomorrow morning I will be a much happier man than today. My job is to coach, but I like playing more than coaching. I like most the matches with different emotions rather than the 'normal matches'. But the essence of my work is to be on the pitch with my players."

Are six strikers too many?
"It's better to have too many than not have any at all. I think that many coaches in this world have the problem of not having many quality strikers. We have quite a few but if it's a problem, it's a problem for them. With all due respect, they are very special 'animals'. This will be a problem for a few of them who are not first or second choice. It's impossible to make everyone happy because only eleven go on the pitch and there are three strikers who play plus two or three on the bench. I prefer to have balance in the squad. The transfer market is open until 31 August so we have time to work and decide, but I'm happy because no one here is a washout - they are all top-quality players."

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