Jewell: I'm happy to defend Jose
By Stephen Bateman. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Paul Jewell says he doubts that Jose Mourinho meant to call Lee McCulloch a cheat.
The Chelsea boss has landed himself in hot water with the Football Association after he made the accusation following his side's 1-0 victory at The JJB Stadium on Saturday.
Mourinho claimed that McCulloch was feigning injury after clashing with Joe Cole and, after play had been stopped so that the Scot could be attended to, he ordered William Gallas not to return the ball to The Latics.
The FA are now looking into the matter but if they do decide to investigate further, Jewell says that he is prepared to testify on behalf of the outspoken Blues chief.
"Jose is probably disappointed I have spoken to the press about the incident anyway, but I only answered a question I was asked," said Jewell.
"I went into his office after the game to try to speak to him, but we missed each other.
"I would have said to him what I said to the press, and asked him why his team did not give the ball back to us.
"Maybe he thought we were trying to waste a little bit of time, but that wasn't the case.
"Don't get me wrong, he has not got a bad grasp of the English language, but cheat may not have been the proper word to say.
"I think the word has been taken out of proportion. I don't think for one second he would accuse our team of cheating in the sense being talked about.
"The word he might have been looking for is gamesmanship, but that's not the case anyway because Lee is not like that.
"If you look at our record we're not cheats, we're not dirty, and in the game there was still a long time to go.
"Later on in the game when one of their players went down, we kicked it back to them.
"But I'm not taking umbrage with it. It's like the old saying `sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me'.
"It's just one of those things said in the heat of the moment. I just don't think it's a big issue.
"I know the FA are looking into it, but if he wants me to write a letter or speak to them on his behalf then I will do because there are worse things that go on in the game."