View Full Version : Jose Mourinho tells Chelsea to relax

The General
27-04-2005, 07:19 AM
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists his side must not panic if they are to overcome Liverpool and reach the Champions League final.

Mourinho, who now jokingly admits his ego is "higher than ever" after a glorious first season at Chelsea, is adamant keeping cool will be the key to success as the Premiership champions-elect prepare to take on Rafael Benitez's side in the first-leg showdown at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

The Portuguese said: "I have to make decisions, not emotionally, but just to try to get the best from my team.

"There's no panic. We must not play the first game at home thinking that we have to win or that we have got to get a result to get to the final.

"If we don't win at home, we don't win. We can win the second game. So that is the most important factor - we must not panic for a result at home. You cannot be crazy and chase a result at home.

"We can can win in Liverpool, so there is no panic. Obviously, a win would be better than a draw and a draw better than a defeat. But after the game I will be very cool and whatever the result, I will believe we can win the tie.

"There is no pressure for me. It's very good to be in the semi-final. It is better to play than be at home watching it on the TV. I like to play these kind of matches."

Mourinho has never lost a semi-final and knows his run of success cannot last forever.

However, he is determined to ensure nothing dents an ego he jokes is now twice the size it was when he first arrived at the club after taking Porto to Champions League glory last May and announced he was a "special" manager.

He added: "At that time, I said I was special because I was European champion two days before that - so I arrived here with my ego big and now it is even higher!

"In this Champions League, I lost more matches than I normally do. We lost in Porto, Barcelona and Munich and I don't care if we lose one game against Liverpool as long as we win the tie.

"I have never lost a semi-final in my life but one day I will have to lose one. That's normal."

Mourinho has still to decide if Dutch winger Arjen Robben, who returned to first-team action in the 3-1 victory over Fulham on Saturday, will start the game or be utilised as a second-half substitute.

The fact that Chelsea still require a point to win the Barclays Premiership title is not a worry for him as they face three of their most important games of the season in the space of six days.

After Wednesday's first-leg tie, Chelsea go to Bolton on Saturday knowing a draw will effectively hand them the title. Then they must return to Anfield for the climax of their European semi-final three days later.

But Mourinho is not unduly bothered by the fact he will not be able to rest any of his stars in between the two European ties because, he says, Liverpool are in the same position.

The Reds need points to ensure they claim fourth place and Champions League football next season.

Mourinho added: "When you are involved in a competition like the Champions League, it is much better to be fully concentrated on this and forget the happiness of winning the championship. We have to play tomorrow, Saturday in Bolton and Liverpool on Tuesday.

"But Liverpool are in a similar position. They cannot lose points against Middlesbrough. They have to win the match on Saturday because they cannot lose points in their fight for fourth place. So we are both facing the same circumstances.

"We have the Carling Cup in our pocket and we can win both remaining competitions. I think the Champions League is more difficult to win now than the Premiership because we just need two points to win the title. To win the Champions League we need to win this tie and then the final. So it is much more difficult, but we can still do it."