Jose turns up the heat

25 April 2007 08:59
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho cranked up the mind games ahead of the Champions League semi-final with Liverpool by suggesting the Reds are not a big club. The Portuguese has not enjoyed the best of relationships with Anfield counterpart Rafa Benitez and Mourinho thinks Liverpool are favourites, especially due to the absences of Michael Essien (suspension) and Michael Ballack (injury). He said: "Now we have a lot of injuries and a suspension. "We can say that our opponent has been preparing for this game for a long time and we've been preparing for it since yesterday. "Fatigue is obvious. Everybody knows that in this moment of the season, maximum power is absolutely crucial. In this moment many things are decided by that and not with quality. "If you ask me about the favourites, Liverpool should be the favourites. "They are favourites because in the year 2007, we've played 27 matches and Liverpool play three or four. "If you're not a big club, you choose one competition and you fight in that competition and forget the others. Big clubs, we cannot do this. "We have to go on until we can and try the maximum we can. It's a risk to try and win everything or nothing, or almost nothing because we've got the Carling Cup. "If they're a great team in knockout competitions, we have to admit that and praise them for it. They're good in knockout. "But if you play only one competition for half of the season, then you've great conditions. Since January they've played only Champions League. "So they arrive into this crucial moment of the season in a great situation."

Source: ESA