Inter Milan v Chelsea: Jose Mourinho plays down advantage of inside knowledge

23 February 2010 06:51
Mourinho faces the Blues for the first time since leaving Stamford Bridge in September 2007 after three years in charge.

But although most of the players remain the same, that does not necessarily mean Mourinho knows how to beat the Blues.

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"Sometimes it's more difficult because when you know so much about the team, if you don't decide what is the right information to give to the your new players about your old players, you can get into trouble.

"I played against Porto with Chelsea the year after I left, so in the 2004/05 season.

"It was my team, my players and I knew everything about them, but it was not easy. We won one game and lost the other one."

Likewise, Mourinho does not see any advantage in the current Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti returning to the city where he spent most of his managerial career, as boss of AC Milan.

"It's not easy," added Mourinho.

"I don't think it is for Carlo Ancelotti, who knows Inter very well, and has worked all his life in Italian football and played against Inter a dozen times and is a local man, a man from Milan, from the same city.

"I think he knows everything about us, everything about our players, but I don't think it's an advantage at all."

Mourinho is not expecting Chelsea to come and build the barricades - and nor will Inter - but predicts the tie will be decided at Stamford Bridge next month, rather than Wednesday night.

"I don't remember seeing a game involving Chelsea and them going on the field to defend, or not to win, or to play for a 0-0," he said.

"Inter are the same. It's a game which could be 180 minutes, but it may even be 30 minutes more.

"The first game is important, but I think the second is even more important because that's the one which decides the tie.

"You leave the first game usually without knowing who is going to reach the quarter-finals and you leave the second game with the knowledge of who is going through and whose participation in the Champions League is ending."

As for his own team, Mourinho is still sweating over the fitness of goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who was involved in a car accident on Sunday.

Although the Brazilian was able to train today, Mourinho will assess him again prior to kick-off having called veteran goalkeeper Francesco Toldo up as cover.

"It's not certain," he said.

"I don't know how he wakes up tomorrow, maybe he wakes with his eyes closed and he can't see the ball.

"After a car accident you never know. You can have a reaction 24 or 48 hours after."

Source: Telegraph

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