Date:Sunday January 28 2007
Jose Mourinho warned his potential successors at Stamford Bridge that he will be a hard act to follow as Chelsea breezed into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
Mourinho's future at the club has been in the spotlight in recent weeks with suggestions that he will quit at the end of the season.
The Portuguese manager insists he will see out his contract with the club but there are already a dozen possible names on the list to replace him should he leave.
However, after watching his side sink Forest with three first-half goals, Mourinho warned: 'I think it is difficult to be a manager after me at any club so I would not recommend it.
'I know the list is quite long - 11 or 12 managers of Chelsea - but even if the list becomes bigger it is no problem for me. I am cool but it is my desire to stay at Chelsea.'
Mourinho had already pledged to stay at the club in a BBC interview prior to the tie with Forest but he also insisted that his backroom staff are under no threat despite suggestions they are not being offered new contracts in the summer.
Mourinho declared: 'My coaching staff do not need contracts. They never need a contract.
'They only need a contract when they decide to stop working with me. When they want to work with me, they know they have an automatic contract because where I am, they are.
'They don't need a contract. They just need to speak with the club for 10 minutes and to sign a document, you can call it a contract, but for me the contract they have is with me.
'They have a contract with me since I started my career as a manager. They have worked with me since then but my Portuguese group are together and know that wherever I am, they will be with me as well. There is no problem. They know that when I have a job, they have a job. They have no problems.'
Mourinho also scoffed at suggestions there was a rift between billionaire owner Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea manager and his squad because of his absence from the dressing room after recent matches.
The Russian was not at the game today but Mourinho declared: 'He is the owner - he does what he wants. It doesn't matter to me. He has his life. He has a busy, professional life and I can imagine it is more busy and complicated than I know.
'He also has freedom to live his life like he wants to and he does not have to give explanations to me. When the boss decides to come, we are happy.
'He is always welcome to our space, to our dressing room, to our training space, so when he has no other commitments, he is coming. I have no problem with that.
'He is very happy because the team is playing well and has reached the final of the Carling Cup. When he's back, he's back and we are happy with that.'
Chelsea were always in control against Forest after Andriy Shevchenko put them in front with a deflected shot in the ninth minute.
Didier Drogba added the second with a curling free kick from 25 yards in the 18th minute and Mikel Jon Obi claimed the third on the stroke of half-time.
Mourinho added: 'We had a team on the pitch working together. We did a professional job.
'Three-nil at half-time meant the game was over. We deserved the result.'
Forest boss Colin Calderwood was disappointed his side failed to compete, particularly in the opening half when Chelsea killed the tie.
Calderwood said: 'I cannot take any positives out of the defeat.
'Our fans were great but their rewards will come later in the season we hope. I had hoped we would have been more competitive than we were.
'We learned how efficient Chelsea were in their use of the ball - how simple it was.
'We didn't take part from the first goal until about 30 minutes. We improved in the second half but it is easy to react when you are three down. You have got to do that when it is 0-0.'
Nottingham Evening Post
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