Jose Mourinho: It hurts me to leave Juan Mata out of Chelsea team
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims it "hurts" him when Juan Mata is not playing for the west London side
Jose Mourinho has claimed that it “hurts” when Juan Mata is not playing – despite handing the Chelsea midfielder just 79 minutes of first-team action in November.
The Blues boss has used the Spain international sparingly since returning to the Stamford Bridge helm in June, even though the 25-year-old had been voted the club’s player of the season in back-to-back campaigns.
Mata was an unused substitute in Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Basel in the Champions League in midweek, but the 50-year-old Blues boss insisted that the World Cup winner will have an important role to play in the coming months.
“He’s a very good player and a very good professional. When he is not playing, I’m not happy. It hurts me,” Mourinho said.
“The boy works and behaves. I have nothing negative to stay. If somebody is waiting for me to give a negative reason about him playing more or less, I have nothing negative to say about him.
“It’s just a question of an option. He will play this week. It’s a week for everybody. It will be difficult for somebody to be completely out of it.
“He will have at least a couple of matches.”
When asked if Mourinho had to consider the effect that Mata’s lack of playing time could have on his chances of featuring in next summer’s World Cup, the Blues boss replied: “The problem with the World Cup is that it’s something everyone wants [to go].
“It’s a problem for everyone but it can’t be a problem for the first-team management. All of them want to go and want to play, but I have to be independent of that.”