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Chelsea Priemeirship Season 2004-2005

Lance Knight2010-05-01 22:24:36 +0000 #1
And so it begins
Lance Knight2010-05-01 22:36:27 +0000 #2
Mourinho wary of Tottenham's record

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho insisted his side 'should' beat Tottenham tomorrow - but warned that they must forget all about their past stranglehold over the North London club.

Mourinho is relishing the prospect of his first 'real' London derby at Stamford Bridge, even if Chelsea have previously won at Crystal Palace in their unbeaten start to the season.

He is well aware that the Blues have not lost to Spurs in the league since 1990, a record which has encompassed his seven predecessors as Chelsea manager.

However, he insisted: 'I have heard that but it means absolutely nothing to me. I also heard before we went to Paris St Germain that Chelsea had never got a victory in France but we finished that dark history.

'Football for me is not about superstition or statistics. We must play to win and we should win as we are playing fantastic football, with a lot of confidence.

'We cannot be afraid of this derby, but we must forget the statistics as they don't win matches.'

Mourinho empathises with Arsene Wenger's view that it could possibly be more difficult to win the Premiership as a London club as teams in the capital have to endure more local derbies.

'It's possible. I had a similar situation in Portugal. From 18 Premier League teams, 12 of them were 50 miles around Porto, so it's not easy,' he said.

'But with some foreign managers and a lot of foreign players, maybe they don't feel that pressure so much.'

Not that Mourinho fails to understand the importance of tomorrow's game, which for many Chelsea fans is a bigger rivalry than that which exists with near-neighbours Fulham.

'All my life, I have played in classics. When I was an assistant coach, I saw some beautiful games between Barcelona and Real Madrid,' he said.

'Later, when I was a head coach in Portugal, Benfica and Porto is an amazing European derby, so I know what these games mean.

'They mean the points, but also more than that - a special happiness for the fans. Every player is motivated to play this kind of match and we have enough experience to cope well with it.'

Mourinho bristles at suggestions that Chelsea, who have the best defensive record in the top flight so far this season, with just one goal conceded, are a 'defensive team' - unlike Tottenham, who have given away just two goals.

He insisted: 'I cannot accept that. I think we defend well but there's a difference. You have never seen us going into a game to get a draw. We go into every game to win.

'Tottenham really defend. They go into a game with one first target - not to concede goals. In Ledley King and Noureddine Naybet, they have a very strong defensive pair.

'Pedro Mendes, my former Porto player who is in front of them, is never the best player on the pitch, but he's always the best man for his manager as he's the perfect tactical man. I'm a bit guilty of that and now he's playing against me.'

Mourinho, who is again without Carlo Cudicini and Arjen Robben through injury but has Eidur Gudjohnsen available after eight stitches in his forehead, believes the secret of his team's defensive record is their lack of egos.

'The secret is to defend with 11 players. Everybody has a defensive job. Sometimes, especially in top teams, there are some stars who are not ready to work for the teams defensively,' he concluded.

'But we have a lot of character and good personalities in the team. People who want to win and not just be the star.'

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