Mourinho defends Essien decision

Jose Mourinho has defended his decision to play midfielder Michael Essien at left-back and slated assembled journalists in the process.

Injuries to Marcelo, Alvaro Arbeloa and Fabio Coentrao has given the Real Madrid boss a selection problem, one he has responded to by handing former Chelsea man Essien the emergency role at the expense of the club’s youngsters.

It is a move that has been criticised by sections of the media, something Mourinho was quick to point out after the 5-0 mauling of Real Mallorca at the Iberostar Stadium.

“The Press said two years ago that [Sami] Khedira was an all-round footballer and now say they take note of it when he is not playing. I can’t believe it,” he told a Press conference.

“Essien plays where I want him to and I don’t care. He plays the same way as when he decided to come to Madrid, where he is earning less money than he did with Chelsea.”

The Portuguese also commented on the eight-point difference with eternal rivals and La Liga leaders Barcelona at the top of the table, insisting that the race for the title is far from over at this early stage of the season.

“Last year we were 10 points clear of second place in March and everyone said the League was still open. Now it’s October and there is an eight-point difference.

“We can’t look at Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. All we can do is get maximum points and today we faced a difficult opponent. It was a hard game but we made it look easy.”

However, Mourinho did admit that he could face an additional problem with Xabi Alonso due to serve a suspension after picking up a fifth yellow card of the campaign.

“It’s a concern because we have a lot of injuries and suspensions could complicate things further, but he will play in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday and stand down for other games.”

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