Jose Mourinho's dream of winning an unprecedented four trophies this season was ended by defeat to Newcastle in the FA Cup yesterday, and now the Chelsea manager faces a serious injury crisis ahead of Wednesday's game against Barcelona, after injuries to Wayne Bridge, Damien Duff and William Gallas.
The Chelsea team touched down in Barcelona in the early hours of this morning still waiting to find out whether Duff will recover from a knee injury in time for the first leg of the Champions' League first knock-out round match. Gallas has a groin problem and is doubtful but Bridge is definitely out of the game with a suspected broken ankle.
After an extraordinary game at St James' Park which Chelsea finished with just nine men - following Bridge's injury and a red card for the goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini - Mourinho said that he would not "cry about injuries".
"I never like to cry on injuries. I don't think it's the best way to look at it. I will see when I get on to the plane tonight, I will think about the team I will put out in Barcelona because it's time to think about that and not time to think or to cry about injuries."
The Chelsea manager, who is also without Didier Drogba and Arjen Robben, also insisted that winning the Premiership, the Champions' League, the FA Cup and the Carling Cup in one season was not impossible.
"It's possible because I did it in Portugal when we won the League, the Uefa Cup, the Portuguese Cup and the Portuguese Super Cup," he said. "I know it is difficult in England when you have no control over the fixtures and you have to play like we did today without our best team. We had to play against a team who were competing for their only chance of silverware."
Mourinho held good to his promise to play a weakened team in order to prepare for the match against Barcelona. With John Terry suspended he put Frank Lampard, Duff and Eidur Gudjohnsen on the substitutes' bench but, after falling behind to a fourth-minute headed goal from Patrick Kluivert, the Chelsea manager controversially decided to send on all three players at half-time.
In blizzard conditions that had put the 4pm kick-off in doubt for much of the day, Chelsea were reduced to 10 men when they lost Bridge just two minutes into the second-half after a challenge with Alan Shearer. "I don't know what happened," said the Newcastle captain. "We clashed and he got his foot stuck in the ground."
Cudicini was sent off in injury time after he tripped Shola Ameobi outside the area and Glen Johnson was forced to deputise in goal. "It was a big risk," Mourinho said of his triple substitution. "I am the manager, I make the decisions and I am responsible for the defeats, not the victories. I felt it was the best thing for the team at the time. Even though we only had 10 men for much of the second half it seemed like we had 11."
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