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Chelsea's Morris 'respects' Mourinho despite social media post

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London (AFP)

Chelsea assistant manager Jody Morris says he has the "utmost respect" for Jose Mourinho despite previously poking fun at the Tottenham boss on social media.

Morris posted a video of himself jokingly pretending to cry on Instagram in November after Mourinho said he was "still worried" about Chelsea's chances this season.

Former Chelsea boss Mourinho, now in charge at Tottenham but then working as a pundit for Sky Sports, had revealed his fears for new boss Frank Lampard's youthful squad, with the club having been unable to recruit in the summer due to their FIFA transfer ban.

Morris on Friday moved to defend his post as a light-hearted reaction.

"A lot of people misread my laughing at Jose's comments," said Morris, speaking ahead of Chelsea's FA Cup third round match against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

"Listen, I've got nothing but the utmost respect for Jose. He's an absolute legend and one of the best managers in the game.

"I personally was just laughing at the fact that he was worried whether we would be winning that much."

Morris, who stepped in at short notice for Chelsea's press conference, with Lampard suffering from an illness, said France forward Olivier Giroud would only leave during the January transfer window "for the benefit of the club".

Giroud has already admitted he may have to seek a move for more regular football but Morris suggested Chelsea could ill afford to lose players without suitable replacements.

"It's got to be for the benefit of the club," said Morris. "We can't just let people walk out the door if that means we're left short somewhere.

"Yes, you have to look at the individual as well, but I've got to say Giroud's been nothing but a class act and a top professional since he's been here, so I don't envisage any issues from him on that front."

Chelsea are eyeing reinforcements in the January transfer window after the club's transfer ban was lifted following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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