Champions League

Mourinho seeks killer instinct

2013-11-25 22:00
Jose Mourinho (AP Photo)

Basel - Jose Mourinho has called on his Chelsea stars to show their killer instinct as the Blues look to clinch qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League at Basel on Tuesday.

Mourinho's team can guarantee their place in the knock-out stages with a draw in Switzerland, while a victory would ensure they are certain to finish top of Group E ahead of their final fixture against Steaua Bucharest.

That clash with Steaua comes in the middle of a busy December for Chelsea and Mourinho would prefer to be able to rest players when the Romanians visit Stamford Bridge.

With that in mind, Mourinho on Monday challenged his players to show they can finish off Basel, who are four points behind Chelsea in third place.

"It's a period I like," Mourinho said of the hectic fixture December schedule. "It's a period where I think only the braves can survive because it's hard.

"We go into the Christmas period and the accumulation of matches is so high, but we do it as a special group with a special mentality, enjoying the situation, forgetting we don't have a Christmas (break) like the Spanish, Italian and German players.

"I enjoyed the busy period when I was in England and I missed it when I was in Spain and Italy.

"Now I'm back I want to enjoy it, I want the players to enjoy it, and we need a special mentality to cope with that situation.

"Nine matches and one of them is the match against Steaua. That's our motivation for tomorrow (Tuesday), to try to kill the situation in the group phase and give us a little bit of space in December; instead of having nine real, competitive matches, we only have eight."

Mourinho looks in the mood for the battle ahead after trimming his hair to a ultra-short crew cut during the recent international break.

The former Real Madrid boss borrowed hair clippers from Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, cut his hair himself and then sent a picture to his wife for her approval before heading home.

Asked why he cut his hair, Mourinho said: "Some people can't do what I did. In a couple of months I'll have hair again. Some other people cannot do it.

"I decided to do it. I asked Fernando to give me his machine and I did it myself in front of the mirror. It's nice and cheap.

"Mrs Mourinho, I sent a picture before I arrived at home to see if I could go in. Yes, no problem."

Basel must match Schalke's result against Steaua on Tuesday and then beat the Germans next month to qualify for the last 16 and Mourinho hopes the strain of having no margin for error will prove too much for the Swiss side, who claimed a shock win at the Bridge earlier in the season.

"They are under pressure and we are not," Mourinho said.

"We can finish the job to qualify and Basel, even if they win tomorrow, have to play a last final at Gelsenkirchen.

"For them, the situation is difficult. This shows clearly that, after the first match, we did our job and they didn't do theirs.

"This Chelsea is better than the Chelsea that played at Stamford Bridge. Hopefully we can continue the good run we've had in the Champions League and finish the job tomorrow (Tuesday)."

Torres is fit to return after missing the last three matches due to injury, but defender David Luiz did not travel after suffering a knee problem.

Read more on:    chelsea  |  champions league  |  jose mourinho  |  soccer

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