Chelsea manager will not abandon attacking style despite patchy form
Jose Mourinho insists there will be no compromise in Chelsea’s attacking approach despite their stuttering recent form.
The self-proclaimed Special One is frustrated at the Blues’ shortcomings up front and in defence, admitting even the training aids would have the good fortune to score against his side at present.
Mourinho said: “We have to kill opponents. We have to score goals. We are also conceding goals defensively.
“In this moment if you train defensive corners against the dummies, I think one dummy will score, because all the rebounds they go to the opponents.”
Chelsea will bid to respond from Saturday’s Premier League loss at Stoke on Wednesday night against Steaua Bucharest at Stamford Bridge and must win to be certain of top spot in Champions League Group E after two losses to Basle.
But Mourinho was adamant Chelsea’s style will not be altered, in comments which could be interpreted as a veiled criticism of predecessor Rafael Benitez.
The Chelsea boss said: “Am I going to change the style and play more defensive players? No. Am I going to play David Luiz in front of the central defenders? No.
“Am I going to play with four plus two and the wingers closing behind and leaving Fernando in attack waiting for a counter attack, waiting for a long ball to try to win 1-0? No.
“We go in the same direction.”
Chelsea have already qualified for the last 16, but know Basle can overtake them by winning at Schalke. Steaua are out of contention.
In his first season since returning, Mourinho does not expect 2012 European champions Chelsea to be in contention for the trophy in May, with defending champions Bayern Munich, Barcelona and his former side Real Madrid the favourites.
“Our chances this season, which is my first season, are not comparable with the chances other clubs have,” said Mourinho, a Champions League winner with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.
“We’ve reached the last 16. If we reach the quarter-finals, which is the next step, I used to say that every team in the quarter-final has a chance to win it, but in my analysis I think we are not considered to be one of the favourites.”
Mourinho is eager for his side to put on a good display against the Romanians, who they beat 4-0 in Bucharest at the start of a run of six wins in six games in October.
Mourinho said: “We are the best team in the group. We have to prove it tomorrow and win to finish first.
“We have to win and not just to finish first, also to have the good feeling of winning at home, finishing with 12 points.
“If you tell me now we get a point tomorrow and with that point we are first because of the other result, I don’t want (it). I want to have the feeling of winning the game tomorrow.
“I’m going to give a little rest to a couple of players, three of them, but we need to win.”
Captain John Terry is among those expected to be rested, but fit-again Brazilians Luiz (knee) and Oscar (ankle) could return.
The Blues boss confirmed left-back Ashley Cole will start for the first time since the November 2 loss at Newcastle following a rib injury and losing his place to Cesar Azpilicueta.
Chelsea’s defence has conceded six goals in the last two matches; the Blues have also scored six times in those games.
Mourinho is unhappy with the Premier League goal return of his strikers, though.
Samuel Eto’o has two Premier League goals, while Fernando Torres and Demba Ba have one apiece.
Mourinho added: “The number of goals in the Premier League is not the number I want and they want. This is something very, very obvious.
“Between them they have four goals. Strikers they live also on other things. All the other things they are giving us. No doubt.
“But the number of goals they are scoring is not enough to make me happy and to make them happy. We have to try to improve and wait for better days to score more goals and to feel happy.”
Chelsea’s win in Bucharest came after the opening home loss to Basle, who beat the Blues again in the most recent round.
Defender Branislav Ivanovic said: “We remember the game there. It was very difficult for us.
“It came in a very difficult moment. We were concentrating on that game, that’s why the result came for us.
“We have to be 100 per cent concentrated on this game as well, especially because they don’t have anything to lose.”