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Mourinho: "I don’t question the passion and the love"

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One of the more confusing elements of the Jose Mourinho 'slams the fans' conversation is that nobody has seemed very sure exactly what he's said. We have the fairly inoffensive press conference, we have quotes from talkSPORT which I'm not convinced I trust ... and not a lot else. But here's Dan Levene of Get West London to share what he heard at the post-match presser when the manager talked to the newspaper journalists:

Reporter: You spoke last season a few times of the crowd being not as up-for-it as others, and you mentioned it there (in the press conference). Do you think you'll ever get a crowd that really roars from the start and tries to make this an intimidating ground? Is that never going to happen at Stamford bridge?

Mourinho: I think it’s getting worse.

Reporter: Really?

Mourinho: I think so. Comparing to my previous time, I think it’s getting worse. I don’t question the passion and the love - I’m nobody to question that and I know clearly that’s not true.

Because Chelsea fans, they show us every day their passion for this club. But there is a certain line of living (way of behaving) at the matches at Stamford Bridge, where I can clearly say that we are the team that gets less support in home matches.

There's more to the interview (and Dan, aka @BluesChronicle, works hard and deserves your clicks, so give them to him), but I think that the second part of Mourinho's response is the key here. He's not insulting anyone -- in fact he goes out of his way to remind Chelsea fans that he adores them -- but he's expanding on an issue that's impacting the team.

The regulars at Stamford Bridge can discuss whether or not it's true that the atmosphere has degraded over the past decade, but everyone agrees that it's not as good as it could or should be. In this set of quotes, the manager isn't being combative. He's not questioning the dedication or support of the home faithful that routinely shell out small fortunes to cheer on the team. 'Worse support' is perhaps the most pointed remark, but it seems, on the grand scale of things, fairly harmless.

This is, to me, yet another reminder that everyone's on the same side here. While I remain uncomfortable with the tone of some of the quotes -- the ones reported by talkSPORT in particular -- manager, fans and players are united in their goal: help Chelsea win games. Nothing controversial about that.

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