• Premier League

Mourinho warns 'complacent' Chelsea

ESPN staff
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Chelsea's winning streak ended at St James' Park, but Jose Mourinho refuses to blame a 'November blip' © PA Photos
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Jose Mourinho has accused his Chelsea team of "complacency" in the 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday, and intimated that his side have become overconfident as a result of their recent winning streak, forgetting the qualities behind those wins.

The loss at St James' Park was Chelsea's first after six consecutive wins, and Mourinho admitted he felt his side thought winning had become easy.

"At half-time I was telling them that they were competing more in training sessions than in that game," Mourinho said. "They were just playing like, the goal will arrive. We don't need to push, we don't need to be aggressive, the goal will arrive. I told them at half-time: maybe yes, maybe not.

"It's difficult to change this dynamic, even if at half-time you push and you try to wake up people."

Mourinho was less concerned with the squad at his disposal than their response to the defeat after conceding twice after the interval.

"The problem for me was just the attitude. I want my team to be much more than it was against Newcastle. Against Everton I lost and I was not so unhappy - we lost because we were not lucky. We play really, really well and we couldn't score. I accept it as a football match and can happen.

"This match against Newcastle, I was frustrated, because I want my team to be always active - and proactive, not reactive and waiting for things to happen. I want better from my team."

Chelsea are currently second in the league, but the defeat at St James' Park leaves them five points adrift of Arsenal and level on points with Liverpool, with both Tottenham and Everton lurking with a game in hand.

Mourinho believes his players are capable of beating all comers in the league but worries that the defeat by Newcastle may be symptomatic of a team expecting victory rather than earning it - and conceded that he may have also fallen foul of complacency.

"You play Arsenal away, you play Man City, you know you have to be in the top of your level, and you are - you are in the top of your concentration," he added. "And suddenly you get a match where you become a little bit complacent. It's the mistake of not just the football player; it's the mistake of the human being.

"Before the game maybe I was also influenced the way by they grew up so fast as a team and the way they so fast could compete and play in the way they did that week.

"They also coped very, very well with the pressure when we put ourselves in a difficult position in the Champions League. After that, the players reacted so well in the pressure to go and win six crucial points.

"When you win a lot, you cannot forget why you win. You cannot think you win because you have a nice shirt, or you are in a good run, or in a lucky moment. When you think that, you are in trouble.

"You never can forget why you are winning matches, and maybe we forgot."

Mourinho also denied that his team was suffering the club's supposedly typical 'November blip'. Chelsea's form has dipped markedly during the month for the past three seasons, adding an ominous twist to their latest defeat after their fine form in recent weeks.

"I don't go for the November, October, December, for me it makes no difference. I think if the game against Newcastle, instead of November, it's the 30th of October, there is no difference on that."

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