Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho defends playing Michael Essien at left-back

Jose Mourinho: Real Madrid coach has responded to criticism of his decision to play Michael Essien at left-back

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Jose Mourinho has defended his decision to play Michael Essien at full-back instead of using Real Madrid's youth team and pointed out his use of Raphael Varane to prove a point.

The Portuguese boss has been criticised for not utilising the sizeable number of defenders on offer to fill in at left-back, but hit back after Real's 5-0 win at Real Mallorca.

"Essien plays where I want, and he does not mind," Mourinho explained.

"He shows the same attitude and mentality as when he decided to come to Real Madrid and play, while making less money than at Chelsea. I do not give any credit to what the media say."

Former Real Madrid star Guti had led the calls for Mourinho to use the club's B team, Castilla, more often, instead of only using his regular first-team players. 

However, Mourinho was keen to point out that in the same game that Essien filled in on the left of the defence, he chose Castilla's Varane to play in the middle alongside Pepe.

"We have a 19-year-old centre-back who could be playing with Castilla," he added.

"The Castilla centre-backs are 24-25 years old so he's still very young to play for Castilla, but he's playing in the first team and he's playing to a very high level."

Varane joined Real Madrid from Lens in 2011, after nine years at the French club, and made his first-team debut for the Spanish giants last term against Racing Santander.