Jose Mourinho has accused Fabio Capello of showing a lack of respect after the former England coach criticised the Chelsea boss.
Capello, 69, this week said Mourinho was “a great coach” but “ruins his players” after a few years.
Mourinho has hit back, claiming he would “prefer to show respect” for his colleagues.
“I read what Capello said.I think that a coach with his experience would have been better served to talk about football without mentioning the work of a colleague,” said Mourinho in and Q & A with La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Maybe I should have commented on his work with the English national team or Russia, but I’ve never done that. I prefer to show respect for my colleagues.
“I’d rather talk about Capello and his great career that has been full of success.”
Mourinho was also asked what had happened to Chelsea this season – after a start which has seen four defeats and left them in 16th place.
“I don’t know. Chelsea’s results are really poor at this time. I can’t, and have no desire of hiding the truth.
“I’m struggling to come up with an explanation. However, I can assure you we are working harder than ever and we will improve. We also have the Champions League that we aren’t giving up on,” said Mourinho.
The Chelsea boss also spoke of the pride he feels having had the support of the club, despite his worst start to a season which has meant the chances of retaining the title are almost over already.
“This fills me with pride. It shows the faith [Roman] Abramovich has in a manager who has won three Premier League titles. I thank him and will continue to work hard,” added Mourinho.