Kalou: Mourinho will inspire Chelsea
Salomon Kalou has told RMC Jose Mourinho will find exactly the right words to help Chelsea see off Paris Saint-Germain in Wednesday's Champions League quarterfinal first leg.
Kalou, 28, spent just over a season with Mourinho during the Portuguese boss' first spell at Stamford Bridge. The Ivory Coast international, who moved to Lille after helping Chelsea win the Champions League in 2012, believes Mourinho's astute man-management and straight talking will help the English Premier League side bounce back from last weekend's surprise loss to Crystal Palace.
"He'll big up the players and PSG to get his players to react. As they lost at the weekend, I think he'll find even more words to prick their pride so that they're at a good level on Wednesday. He's someone who's funny, who's honest, who says things as they are.
"He's not going to go round the houses to tell you what he thinks of you. And then it's up to you to do something about it, but he's honest and -- when you deserve it -- he gives you your chance. His philosophy is that when you love me, I love you. That tells you everything about his personality."
While Mourinho will likely be without Samuel Eto'o due to injury, his PSG counterpart Laurent Blanc will be missing right-back Gregory van der Wiel, who is sidelined with a knee problem.
Despite the significance of the game in PSG's season, midfielder Blaise Matuidi told Le Parisien that, following Friday's laboured 1-0 win at Nice, prematch preparations have followed their usual course.
"We moved on to this game the day after Nice," the France international, who will join his teammates in heading to the squad's habitual prematch hotel in Versailles on Tuesday afternoon, said. "It's in all our conversations, whether that be between players or the staff. But otherwise, we've not changed any of the things we usually do. We've kept the same way of preparing."
Salvatore Sirigu will be PSG's last line of defence at the Parc des Princes with the Italy international hoping to keep Eden Hazard at bay ahead of next week's return in London. He told Le Parisien the French champions needed to keep their focus on themselves and not be drawn into Mourinho's mind games.
"We're going to play this game in the way we know how. If we start saying: 'It's Chelsea, it's Mourinho', it won't be good. I want to go to the semifinals. The rest is just talk," the Italy international explained, adding he had learned much from playing against Mourinho's Inter Milan with his former club Palermo.
"I learned the lesson that a Mourinho team first of all emphasises intensity in their play. Physically, they're very strong. And his Chelsea is like his Inter. In the Champions League, he knows how to give his players extra motivation and explain to them how to put their opponents under pressure. But we too know how to do that."