clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mourinho: Maccabi Tel Aviv match 'will be much more difficult for us'

Ian Walton/Getty Images

On the first matchday of the Champions League group stage, Chelsea came up 4-0 winners after a dominant performance; but José Mourinho has warned players that this previous result should not lead to the Blues leaving their guard down against Maccai Tel Aviv:

"I spoke with the players about [complacency]. I gave the example of beating Maribor 6-0 and then we went to Slovenia and the attitude was not the best."

"You have to understand the difference between playing at home compared with playing away, and I hope they learned from the experience. Normally with inexperienced teams in the Champions League, when they go away they feel much more uncomfortable."

"For Maccabi Tel Aviv this season at Stamford Bridge it was their first game, it was raining, the pitch was very fast and Chelsea started quickly and played really well. At home for them it is different and the results here against Porto and Dynamo could be different."

"This game is not in Tel Aviv but they will feel the support and it will be much more difficult for us."

-José Mourinho; source: Chelsea FC

On the previous matchday, before the international break, Willian saved Chelsea with a stupendous free-kick goal in the closing minutes against Dynamo Kiev.  Those three points set up the Blues to achieve qualification for the knockout rounds, but that job is not yet finished.  This match matters.

"Tomorrow is simple: If we lose we are in trouble, we have to rely on others. If we get a draw we can qualify in the last game but we can't be first, and tomorrow if we win, we could qualify depending on the other result, so this game is very important for us."

-José Mourinho; source: Chelsea FC

We never like it when we have to take account of the real world outside of our sports bubble, but the recent attacks in Paris, combined with atrocities amid continuing tensions in Israel could have left some players wary of making a trip, just as it did in 2001 when six Chelsea players, Albert Ferrer, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Emmanuel Petit, Graeme Le Saux, Marcel Desailly and William Gallas, refused to board a plane after the 9/11 attacks. But, according to the manager, as a sign of commitment to the Chelsea cause the only players missing the trip were Thibaut Courtois and Radamel Falaco, whose absence was enforced by their injuries:

"I think the best way is to focus on football and the happiness you have to play football, the responsibility you have to play football. Leave security questions to people who know more than we do, and people who can do things we can't do."

"We just focus on playing. I didn't have a single problem within the squad. I didn't have a Graeme Le Saux. I had everybody without fears, just wanting to come."

"I had even a player, maybe, whose wife is going to have a baby either tomorrow or the next day but he's here, focusing on what he can do for us. So we're here focusing on getting a result. We need that for our happiness, our pride, and the people who support us."

-José Mourinho; source: The Guardian

Let's get those three points then, shall we?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the We Ain't Got No History Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Chelsea news from We Ain't Got No History