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