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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

'There's no rift with Mourinho' - Shevchenko

Andriy Shevchenko insists there is no rift between himself and Jose Mourinho.

The Chelsea boss ignored his striker after the weekend defeat at Liverpool but Shevchenko was back in the starting line-up for Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final win over Wycombe.

And, after scoring twice, Mourinho made a point of shaking hands with the player who cost around £30million from AC Milan in the summer.

The 30-year-old striker had been criticised for his lack of impact at Stamford Bridge and has been accused of causing dressing-room unrest due to his close relationship with owner Roman Abramovich.

However, after a 10-match drought Shevchenko scored his seventh and eight goals of the season to help defeat League Two side Wycombe and reach his first final in English football.

The Ukraine international was substituted with six minutes remaining and his handshake with Mourinho was in contrast to the reaction of his boss after the defeat at Anfield.

'Nothing happened between us on Saturday and I am happy,' said Shevchenko.

'Jose is the manager and has to think differently to the players and has a different philosophy but he knows best.'

Even though his goals came against a League Two side, Mourinho praised his striker for adapting to the English game and Shevchenko will have the chance to add to his tally on Sunday against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.

'He won the right to be in the line-up for Sunday,' said Mourinho. 'If there is the same great performance he'll earn the right to be in the line-up for Wednesday.

'Football is like that, if you perform you are in the team, if you don't you are not in the team.'

Mourinho also insisted he had no 'personal situation' with Shevchenko, adding: 'If somebody said I'm not playing him because of a personal situation with him, they are a silly sod who doesn't understand the game. I want to win so I have to play the best players for the team.

'He's a good boy, he needs happiness and the game could give him a little bit of that.

'The personal relationship was always there and that is very important. One thing is professional issues and another thing is personal issues - the human relationship was always present which is why I always kept faith he would do it.'

Shevchenko has revealed how he maintained faith in himself despite a poor start to his Stamford Bridge career.

'Every player who has got to a serious level knows there are good and bad periods and it was important for me to keep believing in myself, believe the situation would change, work hard and stay relaxed,' he said.

'My performance was good and it felt great to score. Now I'm overjoyed.'

Meanwhile, John Terry has been back in training after back surgery and the skipper's return, along with Ricardo Carvalho back in the starting line-up, has eased the pressure on Mourinho to bolster his defence.

'Ricardo is back, John Terry has trained and hope he's coming,' said Mourinho, whose side are six points behind Premiership leaders Manchester United.

'If (Khalid) Boulahrouz is back in a month it's not as dramatic as it was a month ago. I think we can do it if we have a bit of luck with normal injuries, I think we can do it without any players (coming in).'