24 November 2012
José Mourinho appeared in the press room after the match against Betis at the Benito Villamarín stadium. The manager analysed his team’s performance and congratulated the home fans: “We started better than we finished the game. I waved to the Betis fans because they are fantastic and after a difficult week and a week in which there has been conflict with some of their players, they were able to be fans and help their team win. That pleased me because they behaved correctly and supported their team. I congratulated the Betis players because it’s not their fault that the Benzema goal was ruled out or that the penalty wasn’t given in the last minutes of the match".
The Portuguese coach spoke about the schedule and playing in the Champions League on Wednesday and in La Liga on Saturday: “I try to be objective and fair and when my team loses I try not to look for excuses. It’s obvious that a player that plays on Wednesday shouldn’t play today and there are other teams that have more control over the schedule than we do. But we are talking about professionals at the top level and if you are more tired than normal you have to use other important qualities like ambition, sacrifice and mental strength. When I see a sportsman who is 34 years old, like Stepanek, who played three Davis Cup matched in three days, don’t tell me that younger players can’t play on Wednesday and Sunday. Football isn’t just about legs, when you’re tired you look for other things and get that energy. I am the only one talking about the schedule, like after the match in Manchester I was the only one talking about the referee and therefore I am the bad guy in this story”.
Mourinho also analysed the home side’s match: “I congratulated the Betis players because they gave it their all and fought from the first minute to the last with great spirit and sacrifice. They aren’t to blame for Benzema’s goal being ruled out or the clear penalty in the last minutes of the match and therefore they deserve my respect because they played better than Real Madrid. Despite benefiting from the referee’s two mistakes, they deserved to win”.
The Whites’ coach also took responsibility for the defeat: “Football is like that. When we win, we all win and some more than others, but when we lose the coach loses and therefore I am to blame. The players aren’t to blame, I am”.
Finally, the Portuguese commented on Real Madrid’s position in La Liga after this result: “Last season we had ten more points than our opponents in March and then we drew twice and the situation became more complicated. Maybe at the end of the year we are 11, 13, 9, 8 or 12 points behind. We are not going to be four, five or three points behind. It’s wide open, but let’s not be too optimistic nor too pessimistic. It’s complicated, but I can’t focus on just one competition. It’s impossible. I think from one match to the next and the next match is the Spanish Cup, then La Liga and then it’s the Champions League. But at this point last season our fans were optimistic, it’s understandable that now they are pessimistic and think we can’t go on to win”.