Mourinho: Praise of Conte's Chelsea shows double standards

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The Portuguese has claimed he received criticism for employing largely the same style of play as the Italian during his time at Stamford Bridge

Jose Mourinho has accused the media of double standards in its praise for Antonio Conte's Chelsea team compared to his own.

The Manchester United manager claims the style of play he favoured at Stamford Bridge was criticised despite being similar to that which has been employed by Conte with the Blues this season.

Mourinho did admit, however, that the 18 points that separate the Red Devils and his former club was evidence of the large gulf that currently exists between the two sides.

Asked how far away United were from being the best team in the country, the Portuguese told Sky Sports: "Far... because the best team, in the Premier League, is the team with more points.

Antonio Conte Chelsea Premier League

"I know you like to criticise me. When I was winning titles with Chelsea you were criticising the style of play. At the moment you don't do it.

"Now, to be the best counter-attacking team in the country is not to be criticised; it is an amazing thing.

"The best team at the end of the season is the one who is champions and we are far from it. This season Chelsea are a much better team than us."

Mourinho even conceded that Chelsea have a distinct edge in Sunday's meeting between the two clubs as a result of their lack of midweek European commitments.

"It's a bit difficult, especially for some players," he said. "I think for some of the boys it is not a big problem to play match after match with two days' difference.

Manchester United Premier League

"For some others it is more difficult – their nature, their ages, their DNA. It is not so easy.

"We have important injuries and we do not have so many players to rotate. In some positions we have no choice. Of course, [Chelsea] are much better prepared for the game than us.

"We don’t train. We recover from matches. We try to give the players the best conditions to recover but, honestly, on the pitch there are no conditions to work.

"We analyse matches, we analyse opponents but to work on the pitch, with dynamism and intensity, at this moment is impossible."

A third defeat at the hands of Chelsea across all competitions this season would underline the gap between the two clubs, but Mourinho feels it is open to interpretation whether his first year in the Old Trafford dugout has been a success.

"It depends on the way you analyse it," he added. "You could say my record at home is not a good one, you could also say that my record away from home is very good.

"You can say that I won a trophy in the first season but you can forget it too soon – I don’t know what is a good season for you and for me.

"For me a good season is to be ready for every match and fight for every match for the best result and to defend Man United prestige.

"We are not fighting for the title, we are just fighting to finish top four. It is an important thing but the important thing for this club is to fight for titles and the only title we can win is the Europa League."

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