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Mourinho will not appeal Stoke stadium ban, might not even watch the game!

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Of course, I do not for a minute believe that he won't be watching it.  (Unless I suppose he knows he's getting fired?  That talk seems to have died down quite significantly since Wednesday night's victory.)  Other alternatives available tomorrow for Chelsea's manager include watching the match from the team hotel, watching it out in public, or perhaps on the street with his iPad.  That'd be quite the sight!

Regardless, the manager says his collection of assistants, lead by Rui Faria and Steve Holland are prepared and ready to take charge and lead the team to a positive result.  No laundry baskets, no woolly caps, no headpieces, no shenanigans this time to get around the ban.  Or so he claims.  Of course that's what he'd say, regardless of what he may be planning.

"I will travel with the team and I will be with them until we reach the limit of the stadium facilities. We know when I have to stop being with the players. We will come back from Stoke together."

"My assistants are completely free of that extra pressure which doesn't belong to their jobs. I choose the team and I predict to the maximum I can the different aspects of the game and the different directions it can follow. I try to prepare the players and assistants even better than ever because it is only the way."

"If after 10 minutes we are playing with seven men, it is something I did not prepare my assistants for, so they have to decide for themselves. The game is unpredictable but we try to reduce the impact from extreme scenarios you can imagine such as winning 4-0 at half-time to losing 4-0 at half-time, and between those you have 1000 options including injuries and red cards to each player. We went through all these different scenarios and they are prepared and, importantly, protected by the fact it is my responsibility."

-Jose Mourinho; source: Chelsea FC

Hopefully everything goes to plan and we don't have to improvise.  The staff executes the match plan and we collect the three points.

That said, Mourinho's clearly not happy with the ban and the precedent it sets.  Though as we've seen many times now, precedent doesn't always matter as it should when it comes to FA decisions.  But he will not be appealing the decision.

"Because the match is tomorrow and because I know the result of that appeal already, I decided to give up. I think it is stupid to fight a fight you know you already lose."

"You can imagine how I feel and I don't want to speak a lot about it. It is one thing not to be on the bench like against West Ham when the ref told me not to be on the bench in the second half, but nobody told me to leave the stadium."

"This time the referee invited me to go to the dressing room and tell him what I thought about the first half. If I speak about the dimension of the punishment, I think it opens up a range of situations and I can imagine in the future we are going to have lots of managers with stadium bans. The bans should be related to something really serious in terms of aggression and words I don't want to use, and this stadium ban is connected to words and complaints."

"Now it is open to bans happening many more times unless maybe our [managers'] association and other associations around Europe question in a very serious and legal way the rights of the managers having stadium bans. But from my point of view I want to be out of it, let the game tomorrow finish and that is it."

-Jose Mourinho; source: Chelsea FC

We may have admitted defeat in this battle, but I doubt the war is anywhere near over.