Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has lashed out at the 'quiet' Stamford Bridge crowd in the aftermath of his teams 2-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
The Portuguese tactician has criticized Stamford Bridge's tight-lipped supporters for the lack of atmosphere. He believes the home crowd should show the same level of passion inside the stadium the way their table-topping team are showing on the pitch.
He went on to describe the atmosphere as playing inside an empty stadium.
"It’s difficult to get that strong start where the players, team and fans at Stamford Bridge"
“Everyone knows how much I feel connected to this club and the fans. At this moment it’s difficult for us to play at home, because playing here is like playing in an empty stadium," he was quoted as saying after the match.
Mourinho who has lost just one league game at Stamford Bridge in his two reigns as the club manager, believes the fans play a key role in the team's performance as a fantastic home support often succeeds in creating a fervour and determination inside the players' mind.
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“The team then starts playing like it’s a quiet, soft game at home. It’s difficult to get that strong start where the players, team and fans at Stamford Bridge [are all together]."
“I was today looking around and it was empty, but not in terms of people because it was obviously full. That’s what frustrating.”
With an average home attendance of 41,556, that is 99.3% full on a match day, Stamford Bridge lies in seventh on the highest average attendance charts in the Premier League. Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle United make the top three highest attendances in the league. But Chelsea are looking to close the gap by increasing their seating capacity to 50,000 in the future.
Chelsea had a little scare against QPR after a late Eden Hazard penalty saved the day. The Blues dominated on every aspect of the game and took a deserved lead through a moment of magic from Brazilian superstar Oscar.
However the fans' jubilation was shortlived after Charlie Austin's unlikely equaliser cut out Chelsea's lead. Then 15 minutes from time Eden Hazard was clipped from behind by Eduardo Vaghas and the Belgian exquisitely slotted home Chelsea's winner.
Chelsea's next game at Stamford Bridge is against West Brom at the end of this month but not before facing tricky away trips to Anfield to face Liverpool and to Slovenia to face Maribor in the Premier League and the Champions League respectively.