There's no special feeling playing my old team, says Mourinho

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The Independent Online

Jose Mourinho hasn't got where he is today without learning what it's like to be hated. The Chelsea manager, whose team will meet the side he guided to Champions' League victory last season, Porto, in today's home Group H match, is prepared for the opprobrium of the visiting fans in the event that his new charges fulfil the task he has set for them.

Jose Mourinho hasn't got where he is today without learning what it's like to be hated. The Chelsea manager, whose team will meet the side he guided to Champions' League victory last season, Porto, in today's home Group H match, is prepared for the opprobrium of the visiting fans in the event that his new charges fulfil the task he has set for them.

Around 1,600 Porto supporters are due at Stamford Bridge this evening, including a fervent core of around 150 self-styled "Superdragoes" - a name derived from the dragon in the club's badge. Mourinho remained sanguine yesterday about the prospect of abuse from those who had seen him win the Uefa Cup and Champions League for their team in successive seasons.

"It depends on the type of supporter," he said. "If they are people who have supported the club since ever, I think they cannot forget what I have done for the club. But will some be angry? Maybe the professional supporters. When I was at Porto, many Benfica supporters they hate me because we win everything. And that's life."

Roughly half the team Chelsea face tonight played under Mourinho. He has annexed two of his old players - Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira - and four of his backroom staff. It's an odd situation. But Mourinho insisted yesterday that it was nothing to become too emotional about.

"There is no special feeling there," he said. "During the game, it is one more game. It is not the first time I'm facing my ex-team. When I was with Porto I played against Benfica, and Leiria and Barcelona, teams that I worked with and where I had a lot of friends, and that's football. And one day I will play against Chelsea and the feeling will be similar. After the game, of course, you will find people that you like, people that like you, and the emotion has to come. But during the game you have to concentrate on your target."

Eidur Gudjohnsen, who sat alongside his manager yesterday, expressed the feeling of those players who lost in the semi-final of last season's Champions League.

"We came close, but not close enough," said the Icelandic forward, whose presence at the press conference was seen by Portuguese journalists as an omen that he would not play in today's match, as this was the practice Mourinho followed before Porto's European ties. "So we certainly have the appetite to go one step further this year. We now have players and coaches who have actually won the competition, and they bring that winning mentality to the side."

Winning is something Mourinho's team have been managing often this season, though scoring has come less easily. But the Chelsea manager, very much at ease with the visiting journalists at yesterday's press conference, sought their assistance in adjusting his public image in his adopted country.

"You know I'm not a defensive coach," he told them with a wry grin. "Perhaps you will tell your English friends that..."

The journalists did just that, pointing out that he was doing at Chelsea exactly what he did at Porto, starting from a solid defence and becoming gradually more expansive.

Chelsea (from): Cech, Cudicini, Pidgeley, Ferreira, Johnson, Carvalho, Terry, Gallas, Huth, Bridge, Tiago, Makelele, Lampard, Smertin, Geremi, Parker, Cole, Duff, Drogba, Gudjohnsen, Kezman.

Porto (probable, 4-3-3): Baia; Bosingwa, Jorge, Costa, Pepe, Areias or Ricardo Costa; Costinha, Maniche, Diego; Quaresma, Luis, Fabiano, Derlei.

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