Capital One Cup: Jose Mourinho targets third League Cup with Chelsea
Swindon are the first side to stand in the Blues' way
Tuesday 24 September 2013
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will hope the trip to Swindon is the start of a journey to Wembley as he bids to win the League Cup for a third time.
The Blues travel to the County Ground for a Capital One Cup third-round tie which will feature World Cup-winning playmaker Juan Mata, Brazil defender David Luiz and other stars of the Barclays Premier League.
Mourinho twice won the League Cup in his first spell at Stamford Bridge and made it a priority in his first season, eager to lift the first silverware available to him and duly delivering in early 2005.
Once again Chelsea will take the competition seriously on Mourinho's return.
Assistant boss Steve Holland said: "If you prioritise the four trophies we have a chance of winning, I'm not going to pretend that this competition is ahead of the Champions League, but Jose wants to win everything. That hasn't changed. That will be the situation again this time round.
"We want to win every trophy. There's no reason why not given the strength of squad that we have."
There is another reason for a desire to do well in the much-maligned League Cup - to give squad players opportunities and create internal competition.
Holland added: "We have a big squad with fantastic players. The players want to play and need to play.
"The longer we stay in this tournament, the more games we provide for our squad between now and Christmas time."
To the surprise of many, Mata is among the players needing game time.
The Chelsea player of the year for each of the last two seasons has been told to adapt his game by Mourinho and Holland expects Mata to deliver.
Holland said: "Juan has shown in his time here that he's more than capable of doing that. And I'm sure that will be the case this time."
To win the League Cup, Chelsea must overcome League Once Swindon in a challenge which is not to be underestimated, Holland says.
Holland pointed to recent precedent - Bradford's march to the final which included wins over Arsenal and Aston Villa, plus Liverpool's loss to Oldham in the FA Cup - as reason enough for Chelsea to be wary in Wiltshire.
"The warning signs are there," said Holland, reflecting on Chelsea beating League One Brentford in the FA Cup last January by virtue of a replay.
"If you think you've got a divine right just to turn up and win games, prepare to be surprised.
"It will be the biggest night in Swindon for a while, I'd imagine it will be packed, the fans will have a real positive impact on the team and all the players will be desperate to do well against a club like Chelsea.
"If we're anything other than 100% on it, it'll be a difficult night."
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