Jose Mourinho says he is not happy with Eden Hazard's lack of sacrifice for his Chelsea team, and has been trying to get him to provide more defensive cover all season.
The Blues' creative fulcrum caused consternation after Wednesday night's defeat to Atletico Madrid by appearing to criticise Mourinho's playing style. Saying 'Chelsea is not made to play football'.
Mourinho says he has no issue with the comments, which he insists were taken out of context, but says Hazard does need to look at his own game.
“First of all, I listen to the interview,” said the Blues' boss.
“The words are completely different than some media were bringing. The context is completely transformed.
“Media was reporting he was being critical, but there was nothing critical in what he said.
“It's the same type of words he said in relation to the Belgium side a few weeks ago. There is nothing there.
“Normally you get this kind of comment from players like him: from players who can't resolve a problem like we had with the first goal.
“Against Atletico in Madrid, Willian played on the left side and Ashley Cole was protected all game.
“Against Liverpool, (Andre) Schurrle played on the left and a dangerous player like Glen Johnson was completely under control.
“Eden is the kind of player who is not so mentally ready to look back at his left-back and live his life for him. If you see Atletico's first goal, you understand where the mistake was and why we conceded that goal.”
Asked if he wanted the Belgian star to change, Mourinho was at first dismissive: “No, I just say the perfect team at the top level cannot make this kind of mistake.
“Normally, in this game, if you go to half-time winning 1-0, the game is another game.
“Atletico have to chase the game and we, with stability, have conditions for more.”
However, Mourinho then went on to point out what he saw as a lack of sacrifice in Hazard's game, saying: “When the comments come from a player like Eden, it's normal.
“He's not the kind of player ready to sacrifice himself 100% for the team and his mates.
“But at the same time, the comments were not critical. I'm not happy (a player doesn't sacrifice himself), and I've spoken all season and I've tried to improve him.”
The comments will no doubt increase speculation that has seen Hazard linked with Paris Saint-Germain at several points during the season.