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Mourinho wants more credit for Chelsea success

March 06, 2007 14:25 IST
Jose Mourinho believes no manager could have done better for Chelsea this season and his players deserve more credit for winning the League Cup and still being in contention for three other trophies.

Speaking on the eve of Tuesday's Champions League second leg against his former club Porto, the outspoken Portuguese coach said: "This team deserves to win more... my motivation is that at the end of the season they have another cup in their hands."

Chelsea beat Arsenal to win the League Cup on February 25, take a 1-1 draw with a valuable away goal into the home leg of their first knockout round tie on Tuesday and face Tottenham Hotspur at home on Sunday in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

They trail Manchester United by nine points in the Premier League, however. "Because we are second in the Premiership people think our work has not been so good as in seasons before. I think exactly the opposite," Mourinho told reporters.

Injuries have forced the twice Premier League champions to play three months without goalkeeper Petr Cech, two months without captain John Terry and almost the whole season without winger Joe Cole, he said.

He listed players such as defender Ricardo Carvalho, midfielders Frank Lampard and Michael Essien and his strikers, who had had to shoulder the burden of the absences.

"To have the results we have I'm not saying it's a miracle, I'm not saying it's a job for Superman, I'm saying my players deserve more credit," he said.

Terry, who was knocked unconscious against Arsenal, is not fit to play against Porto and Joe Cole is a long-term casualty with a broken foot.


Mourinho who has weathered a rocky period with Chelsea, including disagreements with the board over signing players, said he felt no special pressure except that which he exerted on himself to succeed.

Asked if any other manager could have done better, he answered "Nobody".

"I put pressure on myself because I want to win".

He felt no stress in his life otherwise, he said. If the club sacked him he would be a millionaire and would get another job very quickly. His family was happy, his children healthy and he had many friends.

He also felt no particular rivalry with the club he took to Champions League glory in 2004.

"It's not an issue any more... My desire is not to beat Porto, my desire is to be in the quarter-finals," he said. 

Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira placed his side firmly as underdogs, but underdogs with history in the competition because they have twice won the trophy Chelsea covet.

"This is a game between a great team and a team that wants to become great," he told a news conference before his team trained on the Stamford Bridge pitch.

He said Argentina midfielder Lucho Gonzalez was fit to play after recovering from a thigh strain.

Clare Lovell
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