'Only lucky teams can beat us,' says Mourinho

Sam Wallace
Saturday 29 October 2005 00:00
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After a week in which his team have dropped their first points in the Premiership with a draw against Everton and were knocked out the Carling Cup on penalties by Charlton Athletic, Mourinho went on the attack against those who believe his side can be knocked from their stride. With his team facing Blackburn Rovers today, Mourinho said that he felt the whole country was willing Chelsea to fail. "When we lose," he said, "there will be a national holiday in the country.

"I recognise Charlton's achievement and the way they fought, and because I have this open mind I can say that they were very, very lucky," Mourinho said. "Their first goal came in our best moment of the game and normally that doesn't happen. In the second half we had chances to win the game, in extra time we had chances to win the game, so to beat us a team needs luck. They need to play well, plus luck."

Mark Hughes's Blackburn side are not renowned for their restraint in the tackle, as they showed in an intensely physical encounter with Chelsea at Ewood Park in February, but Mourinho had nothing but scorn for the Everton striker James Beattie's belief that Chelsea could be intimidated.

"James Beattie should be worried because he has been in the club for one year and has scored two goals," Mourinho said.

"James Beattie had one touch of the ball in 90 minutes. He scored - beautiful penalty. But [apart from that] he didn't touch the ball, so John Terry was afraid of James Beattie? Or Robert Huth was afraid of Duncan Ferguson? I don't think so."

As a manager who takes the greatest care over his preparation, Mourinho was most dismissive of the theory that there was a simple way of beating his side. However, he did admit that one benefit from Chelsea's two most recent results might be that teams would at last attempt to attack the Premiership champions instead of packing the defence and playing for a draw.

"You cannot say the way to beat Chelsea is to play counterattack because we have very fast players and we are a very good team recovering from ball lost," Mourinho said. "You cannot say the way to beat Chelsea is to kick long balls up and to play a direct game because we've proved that we can cope with it. You cannot say the best way to beat Chelsea is to have a go and to attack, to try to win the game directly, because we are very strong on the counterattack and can kill the opponent on the counterattack.

"Because we are strong in every aspect of the game, I don't think there is a way to stop us playing and winning. They have to play very well and to be lucky. But when I say they have to play very well, I don't think there is a way of playing.

"[Sam] Allardyce was speaking about stopping Claude Makelele, but before he thought about that we saw it. We saw it before him - he knows the statistics, we know the statistics.

"Everton was trying to play two strikers and play long balls, which problems did they give us? No problems - not one header. I did not see Duncan Ferguson make any.

"There is not one way. So I think the best way is for teams to play like they play but perform very, very well. It's the kind of situation where you need 11 players to play very well, they must be on a very good day, and have the luck of the game. Like the luck we had in Wigan. If Wigan had been lucky they would have scored before us and won."

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