Football

'Jose's planting a seed on refs'

Neville and Souness say Mourinho is putting pressure on officials with his comments

Jose Mourinho has "planted a seed" and put pressure on referees after claiming there is a clear campaign against Chelsea, says Gary Neville.

Mourinho was left incensed when referee Anthony Taylor failed to award a penalty for a 55th-minute trip by Matt Targett on Cesc Fabregas in the 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday and instead booked the Spain international for diving.

Mourinho blamed the Fabregas booking on recent accusations of diving made against Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic, who was named by Sam Allardyce in the wake of West Ham's Boxing Day defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Neville told Sky Sports that he believes Mourinho knows there is no campaign against Chelsea from referees, but insists he is planting a seed to put referees under pressure in the future.

TITLE TACTIC

"He has planted a seed for the rest of the season," Neville said.

"He'll probably take a fine for that.

"What Mourinho has done today is that he's drawing a line in the sand and said, 'I'm not accepting this any more', letting the referees know this is unacceptable for the rest of the season.

"The campaign bit is him saying he's not having this anymore."

Neville, an eight-time winner of the Premier League, says this is a clear tactic for teams gunning for the title.

He added: "It's what teams that are going for the title do. Historically, you put pressure on, you plant seeds, he won't think for one minute there's a campaign against Chelsea."

Former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness agreed with Neville, saying there is nobody better than Mourinho at instilling pressure on officials.

Souness said: "He's drawn attention to it and is basically trying to put referees under pressure.

"And nobody does it better." - PA Sport.