Other Sport

Mourinho: We're not afraid

2009-02-23 17:19
Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho
Milan - Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho confirmed his team would go on the attack against Manchester United in the Champions League at the San Siro on Tuesday.

United may be the holders and favourites for the tournament and last week Mourinho described them as the best counter-attacking team in the world, but the Portuguese boss said he still won't change from his attacking philosophy.

"We won't change our style of play, it will be 4-4-2 with a diamond formation in midfield and (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic and Andriano in attack," he said.

"I've told the players not to think about the possibility that in two weeks they'll be out of the Champions League but that in two weeks they could have beaten the champions of Europe.

"We shouldn't be afraid, we have to keep our way of playing and I'm sure that nothing will be decided tomorrow but rather in two weeks time in the return leg at Old Trafford.

"We're playing a great team but so are they."

Mourinho revealed that the only part of his team he is undecided on is his central defensive pairing and he said that the rest of the team will be as expected.

Behind the front pair Serbia's Dejan Stankovic will play at the head of the diamond with Argentina's Esteban Cambiasso at the base, Ghana's Muntari Sulley on the left and Inter captain Javier Zanetti on the right.

Brazilian Maicon and Italian teenager Davide Santon will continue as full-backs and Julio Cesar will start in goal but Mourinho is yet to decide on how best to nullify United's attacking threat of Dimitar Berbatov, Wayne Rooney and world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo.

Even so he is convinced his team will continue their progress in Europe this season, despite a tough group qualifying in which they lost their last two matches and finished second to Panathinaikos.

And Mourinho dismissed United's defensive crisis, that has deprived them of Nemanja Vidic, Gary Neville, Wes Brown and possibly also Jonny Evans and John O'Shea, as an advantage for his team.

"The first reason is that they are strong defensively and also teams are afraid when they go to Manchester," said Mourinho, who believes United will apply a damage limitation exercise at the San Siro.

"I don't think Manchester will come to the San Siro to try to win, they'll play very defensively," he said.

"Beating Manchester wouldn't be anything special, the important thing is qualifying for the next round.

"But we're not afraid, I believe that in two months we'll be in the final."


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