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Jose vows to bounce back
02 May 2007 - 08:33:36
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists he will still be at the club next season to launch another attempt to win the Champions League after his side's hopes of winning this term's competition were dashed by Liverpool.
The Blues led the semi-final clash 1-0 after last week's first leg at Stamford Bridge, but Daniel Agger's goal for Liverpool forced the game into a penalty shoot-out that Rafa Benitez's side won 4-1.
In Mourinho's three seasons in charge, Liverpool have beaten his side twice in the Champions League, while last term, Barcelona ended their interest in Europe's premier competition.
"What more speculation, what now? I thought we had cleared this all up," said Mourinho after his side's exit.
"We will keep going. There is always a next chance, next season is another season. I feel we deserve to be in a final, three times now in four seasons we get this close, we deserve a final.
"We are strong characters, but we have had such a difficult season ahead of this situation because of our injuries, and that is because of our character.
"Next season the group will be little different to the group we have now. Our intention is to keep a big percentage of these players, maybe two or three changes which is normal in a club like us.
"It is a moment when everybody has to be strong. My players have a lot of reasons to be proud.
"We were the best team today, even against a team only playing for the Champions League.
"In extra-time we were the only team who tried to win, but football is like that and the penalty shoot-out is part of the game. My players did a great run in the Champions League.
"The quadruple is a difficult thing to go for. At the beginning of the season we do not think of that, we think of each game and trying to win each time.
"As far as my management career goes, that was the most heartbreaking night. To lose a Champions League semi-final on penalties is hard to take.
"I do not think we were bothered by the atmosphere, it was a great atmosphere with their fans supporting their team."