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Regret That Things Couldn't Work out With Mourinho: Hazard

In-form Chelsea and Belgium attacker Eden Hazard has admittedly had his share of problems with current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, but says he would happily work with him again if there was a chance.

News18 Sports

Updated:October 14, 2018, 1:50 PM IST
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Regret That Things Couldn't Work out With Mourinho: Hazard
Eden Hazard during the 2015-16 season.
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In-form Chelsea and Belgium attacker Eden Hazard has admittedly had his share of problems with current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, but says he would happily work with him again if there was a chance.

"The last season under Mourinho was not enjoyable. We didn't win, we got into a sort of routine, training without having fun, it was better for all parties that we parted ways, Hazard told Het Laatste News, a Belgian newspaper.

"But if I'm asked now about one coach with whom I want to work again, I would say Mourinho.

"I don't regret many things in my career, but that I have not been able to work with Mourinho at Chelsea any more is one of them. We had a team that could win more trophies. We just ended up in a negative cycle.”

Hazard said that he felt "a little bit guilty" about being part of the reason due to which Mourinho was forced out of Stamford Bridge, the season after winning the

Premier League on return to England, his third season at the club in his second stint.

Hazard also defended Mourinho’s approach before he was sacked after a drastic slump in relations at the club.

"In 12 years I've only had one bad season -- the last six months under Mourinho -- and that was partly my own fault," Hazard, named Premier League Player of the Month for September, said.

"After the title, we asked Mourinho for extra holidays. I came back totally out of shape.

Since Mourinho’s departure Hazard has worked with the Italian Antonio Conte and is currently playing under former Napoli man Maurizio Sarri, who has given him a free role.

"I sent him a message to say I was sorry he had gone and that I was sorry. We'd enjoyed all that success together, but this time we hadn't.

"I felt a little bit guilty because I'd been player of the year. I'd been one of the most decisive players, and then I performed less."

Hazard defended Mourinho's approach and believes the perception of him being a negative coach is not the right one. The Belgium skipper also said that he understood that, criticising players was part of the way Mourinho functioned.

"Mourinho's image of an extremely defensive coach isn't completely right," the Belgium international said.

"He is far from adventurous like [Pep] Guardiola, but the season in which we became champions, we scored many goals and played good games.

"If the results are poor, Jose starts criticising his players. You know that, but afterwards I've been able to accept that -- it's part of his character.

"If you win, Mourinho is the best coach you can imagine. Then he is a friend of yours -- you ask whatever you want."

While the Belgian is happy in London with Chelsea, he has made it clear that he would want to play for the 13-time European champions Real Madrid someday, but will not be leaving in January.

Post the win at Southampton, where he scored the opening goal, Hazard said joining Real is a "dream" and he wants to "make it happen," but added that he is open to a longer stay at Stamford Bridge.

| Edited by: Arjit Dabas
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