Jose: Belief high ahead of PSG clash
LONDON -- Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says he is convinced his team have what it takes to beat PSG and advance from their Champions League quarterfinal tie.
Mourinho cut a confident figure as his side prepare to try to overturn a sizeable first-leg deficit at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, yet his optimism came with a hint of uncertainty.
“I think we are going to win, really. In the end of the two legs, I think we are going to score more goals than them,” Mourinho told reporters at his prematch news conference.
“I believe, the players believe, the reasons are not the most important thing. We need to win. The players have to show their quality, confidence and ambition. All the qualities you need to play at the top level.
“In this moment it’s 3-1, I think in the end it can be 4-3 or 5-4. If I don’t think that way, I don’t go tomorrow [Wednesday]. And I go and I’m happy to go.
“The only thing I know is that if we don’t score a minimum of two goals we have no chance. If they score one, we have to score three, at least. If they score two, we have to score five. This is the only thing I know. The basic thing of the numbers, the basic mathematics.”
Mourinho went on to claim all the pressure is on PSG to progress to the semifinals, as he suggested the promise of their coach Laurent Blanc to attack Chelsea may be a smokescreen.
“How the game is going to be, I don’t know really,” Mourinho said. “They can say they come to attack and maybe they don’t cross the midfield line. Maybe they say they come to defend and they find spaces and score goals. We don’t know.”
“I think if Paris tomorrow is knocked out, it will be a big disappointment for them. If tomorrow we are knocked out it’s something, in this moment, that lots of people are expecting.
“That’s the reason why I say we have to enjoy the risk of the situation. The game [kicks-off] at 7.45 p.m. [BST]; At 9.30 p.m. we can be out, we know we have this risk. At 7.45 p.m. we have chances to be in the semifinal. So at 7.45 p.m. we have to have a smile on our faces, go play, give everything. At 7.45 p.m. we believe we can do it.
Mourinho again hinted he is preparing to take a risk and start the game against PSG with Samuel Eto’o up front, even though he admits the veteran striker has not fully recovered from his hamstring injury.
“Fit, fit, I don’t think he is. Play tomorrow, maybe, maybe,” Mourinho said of Eto’o, who trained away from his Chelsea teammates on Monday.
When asked about the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the PSG line-up, Mourinho said: “You know, Eto’o didn’t play the first game and I’m not sure he plays the second game.
“Ramires is suspended, [Nemanja] Matic and [Mohamed] Salah cannot play in the Champions League, but we are not crying. The fact that a multi-million pound club that buys players and players does not have important player like Ibrahimovic, I don’t think it’s a problem.”