Mourinho urges men to remain calm before key UCL match against Schalke
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims his side has played under pressure this season. As the Champions League game against Schalke approaches, the Portuguese tactician has urged his men to “play without pressure”. Mourinho insists his side needs relieve pressure before taking on Schalke in Germany on Tuesday night.
The opening day defeat at the hands of FC Basel at home means Chelsea cannot afford to make mistakes. Schalke are currently leading the group, but Mourinho isn’t worried about that fact. The Stamford Bridge boss is confident that his side will be able pass through these early obstacles.
“I don't think it's yet the time to have the calculator and to be counting the number of points you need to qualify, to be first or second or go to Europa League,” Mourinho said.
“I think that comes on the fifth fixture. The third and fourth are fixtures, you can play just thinking about the game, trying to win and if not trying to get a point, but basically, to play without that pressure of the calculator. We lost the first at home, but won the second away so found a balance.”
Mourinho also revealed that he “has a decision to make” about who he will field at the center back spot. David Luiz had the spot last week, but his error in Saturday’s Premier League game against Cardiff City seems to have taken away his position in the first team.
“I have to make an option for tomorrow -- I have to make a choice between David [Luiz] and Gary [Cahill],” Mourinho said. “The players don't know yet as we have only had two days between matches and we haven't trained tactically, so when they don't know I would not like to say.
“Ashley Cole is out. That's not a big deal. A team is a squad, not 11 players, and they have a squad with players to replace. It's difficult for a team to be at maximum power, to play a match without somebody missing through injury or suspension, but no big deal. They miss a couple of players, but us too.”
Mourinho also defended Andre Schurrle against critics for not being able to connect with the rest of the Chelsea team. Mourinho suggests the young Germany star is still adapting to English football and could be featured in the match against Schalke.
“He needs some time to adapt to a different league, a different profile of competition but he is a good player, an open kid who wants to work and to learn, so our hopes are on him,” added Mourinho.
“We are happy with the investment in such a young player,' he answered, before responding to enquiries about another new recruit who has been in goalscoring form, Samuel Eto'o.
“He needs time, because in his career he played in Spain and Italy, a little bit in Russia, countries and championships different from the Premier League. Since the first day, he made an impact with the players. Everybody sees the fantastic quality he has.”