Mourinho puts pressure on Liverpool

first_img Press Association “The points we are getting, one here, one there, three here, three there, are important points.” Liverpool made wholesale changes for their midweek Champions League match at Real Madrid, with Reds boss Brendan Rodgers criticised despite a narrow defeat. Mourinho anticipates those rested will return against his side. “Brendan had an option and took it,” he said. “Name the Liverpool team? I’d name the six guys on the bench in Madrid: Steven Gerrard, (Dejan) Lovren, (Raheem) Sterling, (Jordan) Henderson, (Mario) Balotelli, (Glen) Johnson.” Mourinho attempted to prise Gerrard away from Anfield during his first spell as Chelsea boss, between June 2004 and September 2007. Asked if he regretted missing out on Gerrard, a Freudian slip perhaps revealed Gerrard’s dwindling powers in Mourinho’s eyes. The Blues boss added: “He had… he is having a fantastic career in his club, and he has an option to stay for life in the same club, become a legend of his home town club. “I think it was a very respectful decision. I was never upset with that kind of option. No way.” Mourinho refused to suggest how long he expected Gerrard to continue but ruled out returning for the former England captain if he became available. One former Mourinho player who his Chelsea side are likely to come up against is Mario Balotelli, who thrived at Inter Milan under the Portuguese. The former Manchester City striker has struggled since returning to the Premier League, failing to net in eight games. Mourinho remains wary of the enigmatic Italy striker. “I am very aware of him tomorrow,” he added. “I have good memories with him, not bad. He’s a good, dangerous player and, because I know him so well, I will try to help my players to play against him. “I know he’s dangerous.” Mourinho declined to comment on the extract from Luis Suarez’s book where the former Liverpool striker revealed Chelsea’s players were instructed to play negatively in April’s clash at Anfield. The Chelsea manager has had little time for autobiographies in recent weeks – as his reaction to Roy Keane’s book showed – and he has less interest in active players’ publications. “Did you read the book? I didn’t,” Mourinho said. “At 51, I might have enough stories to write a book. When you are 25? You write a book about when you are a kid?” Mourinho declined an offer to write a book and has no immediate plans to pen his memoirs. “I have an invitation to do a book, just with 100 pictures,” he added. “I choose 100 pictures of my career and just make a little comment on every picture. A memory book. “But not a book to tell ‘s***’ and to criticise people and to speak negative things about people who belong to my career. No way.” “If they are 15 points behind in November, obviously it’s not over but it’s difficult. “If they win, nine points behind is different to 15. “It’s a very good motivation for them. So I expect them to try everything to win.” The match is Chelsea’s third away game in the opening 11 fixtures against teams which share their title aspirations. The trip to Anfield follows draws at Manchester City and Manchester United and a home defeat of Arsenal in an opening Mourinho described as “the most difficult fixtures of every team”. The Blues boss believes his side are faring well in such games. “When we leave Anfield, we will have left behind three of the most difficult stadia to play in all season,” he added. “If, after 11 matches, we were in a mid-table position because we lost three matches, it would be something very normal, very acceptable. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho thinks Liverpool must win Saturday’s encounter with the Premier League leaders to keep their title bid alive. Liverpool, whose hopes of a first championship in 24 years were ended by Chelsea in April, are 12 points behind Mourinho’s men entering the lunchtime contest. “Liverpool know that, if they lose, they are 15 points behind,” Mourinho said. last_img read more

Clippers’ Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell and Doc Rivers in running for NBA honors

first_img Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Williams has a chance to win his third Sixth Man honor and his second in a row. The 6-foot-1 guard led NBA reserves this season by averaging 20.1 points per game, the second-most by any bench player in the last 25 seasons – behind only his 21.9 ppg effort last season.Williams passed Dell Curry (11,147) for No. 1 on the career points off the bench leaderboard in a victory over the Boston Celtics on March 11.Montrezl Harrell, a 6-foot-8 forward/center, averaged 16.8 points this season, fourth-most off the bench. He and Williams together recorded the highest combined scoring average of any reserve duo in NBA history – 36.9 points per game – according to the Elias Sports Bureau.The Clippers pushed the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors to six games in their best-of-seven first-round playoff series before bowing out on April 26, when Kevin Durant’s 50 points led the Warriors to a 129-110 victory.Related Articles Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory center_img The Clippers have three representatives among the finalists for the NBA awards this season.Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell are both in contention for the Sixth Man of the Year Award, along with the Indiana Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis. Doc Rivers is one of three in the running for Coach of the Year, in addition to the Milwaukee Bucks’ Mike Budenholzer and the Denver Nuggets’ Michael Malone.Rivers led a team that was predicted by many to win 30-some games to 48 victories, the seventh-most in a single season in franchise history. The Clippers became the fourth team in NBA history to win more than 45 games without a current or former All-Star on their roster at any point in the season.Rivers also won the Coach of the Year award in 2000 after his first year with the Orlando Magic, a team that was picked to finish last in the league and almost made the playoffs. Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more