Belfast Telegraph

Mourinho enjoying 'perfect' season

Jose Mourinho believes Chelsea are in the midst of a "perfect season" and that even a first defeat of the campaign would not alter the Blues' burgeoning self-belief.

The runaway leaders play Tottenham on Wednesday night seeking to consolidate their advantage at the top of the Barclays Premier League, having failed to score for the first time this term at Sunderland last Saturday.

Despite opening the season with a 20-match unbeaten run, Mourinho thinks his side should be in buoyant mood even when the defeat he believes is inevitable happens.

"What do you want the team to do or to feel when a team is doing a perfect season?" Mourinho said.

"Top of the league in the Premier League. Top of the group in the Champions League. Quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup. Not losing one match for four months.

"The team has to feel very very well. And, when the defeat arrives, I think we have to feel exactly in the same way.

"We are doing things very, very well and it's not a bad result, when the bad result arrives, that is going to change our self-belief, our self-esteem."

For Spurs to end the Blues' unbeaten streak, they must win at Stamford Bridge for the first time since February 1990, when Gary Lineker scored the winning goal.

"So tomorrow he can't," added Mourinho, who is not interested in the record or in appraising Tottenham this season.

"I don't think it's important. I don't even speak with the players about it, was not important.

"I don't have to comment on (Spurs), just a difficult team that we have to play against. That's the only thing that we have to think, that it's a difficult match and to be ready for it. Nothing else."

Chelsea will be without striker Diego Costa, who serves a one-game ban after being shown his fifth yellow card of the season in last Saturday's goalless draw at Sunderland.

Loic Remy or Didier Drogba are likely to start up front in his place.

Tottenham will have defender Kyle Naughton available following his two-match suspension.

Emmanuel Adebayor, who has been suffering from a virus and back problem, is among several players who will be assessed, with Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose also concerns with knocks.

Full-back Kyle Walker continued his recovery from abdominal surgery by playing for the Under-21s against Manchester City on Monday night.

Mauricio Pochettino has told Tottenham to forget about their terrible record at Chelsea and focus on making history of their own in 2014.

"I don't read about Tottenham's record at Chelsea. For us it is important to go and feel the same mentality which we showed against Everton and forget the past. We do not need to let the past affect our present," the Argentine coach said.

"We know that Chelsea are a very strong squad of the Premier League, they are an unbelievable team. We know that tomorrow we should expect a very tough game."

Pochettino added: "Our players can look forward to go to Stamford Bridge to try to get the three points.

"We know it is a difficult stadium because in the last 14 games, they have made 11 clean sheets.

"They are not an easy team, but we go to (a stadium) where it is exciting to play, to show our skill and try to take the three points.

"I believe always in each game I go to play, I have full confidence we can win.

"We know that belief is important, that is the first thing to get the positive result and I always have confidence in my players."


From Belfast Telegraph