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Saturday, January 13, 2007
ESPNsoccernet: January 14, 2:04 PM UK
Jose non-committal on his Chelsea future

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has refused to say whether he would be at the club for the remainder of his contract.

The Portuguese coach is tied to the club until 2010 but declined the chance to reassure fans he would remain at Stamford Bridge until then.

He denied reports that Chelsea had made attempts to remove Steve Clarke as his number two and declared that if it ever happened, they would have to remove him from his job as well.

All this came at the end of a 4-0 demolition job on Wigan with strikes from Frank Lampard, Arjen Robben, a Chris Kirkland own goal and Didier Drogba.

Mourinho said: 'I am still young for a manager but I am very old in football. I will be 44 next week, so I've lived in football for 44 years.

'I've seen so many things in football, since I was a kid. In football you cannot be 100% categoric about some issues.

'When I say the club is more important than me - the future of the club is more important.

'My future is not important in this context and in this moment everyone in the club should think about the club and not himself.

'I said the same to the players, it is not important if you play or you don't play, if you are on the bench, if you play two minutes or if you play 90 minutes, the important thing is that everyone gives the maximum for the club.

'I am a club man and because I love the club, I am not the kind of stupid man that says I love the club since I was a child, but for the last two-and-a-half years, I learned how to love this club. The club is important.

'Today we won and everybody is happy. I think I will love Chelsea forever. I cannot separate my story with Chelsea's story.'

But when asked directly, on at least two occasions, if he would serve the remainder of his contract, he refused to answer and was ushered away by Chelsea's press officer.

However, he was more categoric when it came to the position of his number two Clarke.

It had been suggested that the club had tried to impose a new number two on Mourinho but the Portuguese coach denied the claim and added that if it ever happened, he would go as well.

Mourinho declared: 'I can say that it is not true. One thing is for sure that it is not true.

'The second thing I can say is that, although it is completely untrue, if the club try to do that - they would have to do me and him together because without him I would not work in this club.

'The club has respect for Steve and they know how good an assistant he is and they know how important he is for our work. It is complete nonsense.

'The people around me are together. We have to concentrate on our jobs - everybody has to give the maximum. In the club you have people with different tasks and jobs, and if everybody gives the maximum contribution, we could have a good end of the season.

'We are, in the last two years, a winning club. Winning is part of our life. When you don't win, even not losing, it is normal that the club is not such a happy club. We are back to victories and alive in all four competitions.'

But the thorny issue of new signings also reared its head.

Mourinho side-stepped the question, although he hailed the return of goalkeeper Petr Cech on Monday as like having a new 50 million addition to the squad.

Mourinho added: 'On Monday I have a 50million player and we don't have to pay to have him.

'The best goalkeeper in the world is ready to play. After three months without him, where in my opinion Hilario did very well, he is back ready to play.

'I have to work with what I have. In this moment it is not much. It is a big challenge for me.

'I have to enjoy the situation I have. Instead of crying every day that I have no John Terry or Joe Cole, me and the players have to work to improve.'

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