Mourinho praises medical staff but Carneiro not on bench

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Tony O'Brien Livepic

LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he has "fantastic" medical staff but the club's first team doctor Eva Carneiro will not be on the bench against Manchester City on Sunday following her treatment of an injured player in a Premier League match.

British media claimed this week Mourinho had banned Carneiro and physiotherapist Jon Fearn from the bench, training sessions and the team hotel after they treated Eden Hazard during 10-man Chelsea's Premier League draw against Swansea City last weekend.

"First of all I want to say I have a fantastic medical department led by Dr Paco Biosca, I have a good relationship with them," Mourinho said at a news conference on Friday.

"They tell me they have never been praised as much as they have done by me in the last couple of years because normally managers when things go well to keep to themselves and when they have injuries they speak about the medical department.

"They also told me we had disagreements during this period and need them to improve.

"Jon Fearn and Dr Carneiro will not be on the bench on Sunday but that doesn't mean they cannot be in the future."

Mourinho said his medical staff were "impulsive and naive" in a TV interview after the match as Chelsea were reduced to nine men in stoppage time despite both the referee and player calling for the doctor.

Champions Chelsea travel to last season's runners up Manchester City but Mourinho said the absence of Carneiro and Fearn will not have any impact on the result at the Etihad.

"The bench is my responsibility," he said.

"If anyone thinks that a disagreement between two of the medical department and the manager can affect the build up to a match doesn't know football."

City set the early standard with a commanding 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion in their opening Premier League fixture but the Chelsea boss played down the significance of Sunday's game in the race for the title.

"We are speaking about 38 matches. It is an eternity, a marathon that started last week," said Mourinho, who will be without suspended goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois on Sunday, while midfielder Oscar is an injury doubt.

"I cannot say it's not crucial, I cannot say it's not very, very, very important.

"They are title contenders so three points are important, but I cannot say that a win will mean anything significant."

(Reporting By Michael Hann; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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