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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 23, 2007

Mourinho: I will stay at Chelsea for the fans

Jose Mourinho warmed up for Sunday's Carling Cup Final against Arsenal by boasting that he is one of the greatest managers in the world and that he would never quit Chelsea.

Mourinho's pledge to stay will come as the perfect tonic for the club's fans after a season when his future has been the subject of intense speculation.

But the former Porto boss insists he will remain at the club until the end of this contract in 2010 or until Chelsea sack him.

Mourinho declared: 'There are only two ways for me to leave Chelsea. One way is in June 2010. I finish my contract then, and if the club does not give me a new one, it is the end of my contract and I am out.

'The second way is for Chelsea to sack me, because there is not a third way - the way the manager decides to leave and walks away. No chance!

'I would never do this to Chelsea supporters - no chance.'

Mourinho has had more than a few conflicts with his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger since he arrived as coach at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2004.

The pair were sniping at each other in the build-up to this weekend's showdown at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Wenger claims that a coach can still be considered great if he has not won the Champions League, and while Mourinho agrees with his sentiments, the Chelsea chief insists his own overall record in the game makes him one of the greatest.

Mourinho won the Portuguese title, the UEFA Cup and the Champions League with Porto before moving to Chelsea and leading them to successive top flight titles and a Carling Cup triumph.

He boasted: 'Yes, I think I am a great manager. Not many did what I did.

'I am not saying I am the best - I don't think that exists. I am saying I am in the group of eight, 10,12, 14 around the word - people that did similar things.

'Some did other things; some did what I did and I agree with Arsene Wenger when he says you don't need to win the Champions League to be a great manager.

'He is a great manager who has never won the Champions League so I completely agree with him. What I did in Portugal was unique.

'Nobody had done it in the history of Portuguese football, so I am the best in the history of my country.

'I think that's enough. Portugal is not third world. So what I did there is good enough.

'I came to England and won the title with Chelsea 50 years after they last won it. I was the first to win the title in the first year in the club. I won it twice.

'I won other competitions. I have a few records in the Premiership, I think. Records for victories or goals or not conceding goals, or something like that.

'Victories at home or unbeatable at home is not a record, but we are not far from the record for that

'So we did good things, and I feel I am in that group. I am not saying I am better than anyone but I think I've done enough to be in that group.'

Captain John Terry, who injured ankle ligaments in the Champions League draw with Porto in midweek, is out of the final, but Mourinho confirmed he will be back in action the following weekend.

But his absence will force Mourinho to play midfielder Michael Essien in the centre of defence alongside Ricardo Carvalho and he admits that it is not an ideal situation.

Mourinho added: 'You cannot imagine how much we miss him in midfield.

'He is one of the best midfield players in the world and he is not playing there.

'It is as simple as that. If I now have another problem in the centre of defence, the next one I play there is striker Didier Drogba.

'So if Ricardo or Michael has a problem, Drogba will play as a central defender and I miss him in attack.

'You always miss players when they cannot play or cannot play in their normal position.

'Michael is good in defence but he still thinks like a midfield player. He is strong, quick, and good in the air and can tackle.

'So he has qualities to play in defence but in many ways he still thinks as a midfield player.'

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