Mourinho tells Chelsea to come out smiling
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Chelsea's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho gives a press conference at Stamford Bridge in London. AFP PhotoChelsea manager Jose Mourinho on Monday urged his players to "enjoy the risk" as they seek to overturn a 3-1 deficit in their Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain.
The teams resume hostilities at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, when Chelsea will bid to become only the third team to successfully claw back a 3-1 disadvantage in the post-1992 Champions League era.
Chelsea pulled off the feat two years ago, overcoming Napoli 4-1 after a 3-1 first-leg defeat, while last season Mourinho came close to an even greater comeback with Real Madrid, who won the second leg of their semi-final against Borussia Dortmund 2-0 after a 4-1 loss in the away leg.
While Mourinho played down comparisons with the Dortmund tie, he declared that the balance of the quarter-final means that the pressure will all be on PSG.
"I think if Paris are knocked out, it will be a big disappointment for them," Mourinho said during Monday's pre-game press conference.
"If we are knocked out, it's something everyone is expecting. We have to enjoy the risk of the situation.
"At 9:30 (pm), we can be out and we know that we have this risk, but at 7:45 we have chances to be in the semi-finals, so we have to be at 7:45 with a smile on our faces, going, playing, giving everything.
"At 9:30, let's see what happens, but at 7:45 we believe that we can do it." He added: "If you ask me if I think we are going to win tomorrow? Yes, I think. That's the most important thing for you to listen to.
"I think we are going to win. At the end of the two legs, I think we are going to score more goals than them. Pure mathematics.
"At the moment 3-1, I think in the end can be 4-3 or 5-4 (to Chelsea). If I don't think that way, I don't go tomorrow (Tuesday). And I go, and I'm happy to go."
PSG have lost by two goals only once in their last 110 matches, so the statistics are not in Chelsea's favour, but the London club could be boosted by the return to fitness of Samuel Eto'o.
The Cameroon striker has missed Chelsea's last three games with a hamstring injury, but Mourinho said that he had a chance of featuring on Tuesday.
Asked if Eto'o was fit, Mourinho replied: "Fit fit, I don't think he is. But play tomorrow? Maybe, maybe."
For their part, PSG will be without injured top scorer and talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Mourinho did not express any sympathy for his opposite number, Laurent Blanc.
"Eto'o didn't play the first game and I'm not sure he plays in the second game," he said.
"Ramires is suspended. (Nemanja) Matic and (Mohamed) Salah, they can't play in the Champions League. And we are not crying.
"So the fact that a multi-millionaire club that buys players and players doesn't play one important player like Ibrahimovic, I don't think it's a problem."
Mourinho cut a slightly subdued figure during the press conference at Stamford Bridge and gave the impression that he was still digesting the disappointment of last week's first-leg defeat, claiming that Chelsea's defensive shortcomings played a part in all three of PSG's goals.
However, he replied to a question about his mood by insisting that he was "not grumpy" and also cracked a joke when a French reporter asked him about his reputation for being proud and driven by results.
"Do you know any coach that is not attached to the result and is not proud about himself?" he responded. "Because I want to play against him."