Mourinho hits back at critics

Jose Mourinho has hit back at his critics ahead of Wednesday night's Champions League semi-final with Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge.

Last Updated: 30/04/14 at 08:03 Post Comment

Jose Mourinho: Chelsea boss has vowed to stick his footballing principles

Jose Mourinho: Chelsea boss has vowed to stick his footballing principles

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The Chelsea manager has vowed to stick to his footballing principles as he bids to win the European Cup with a third different club after the 2004 triumph with Porto and 2010 win with Inter Milan.

Standing in his way are Atletico after a goalless first leg, with his former club Real Madrid awaiting the victors in the May 24 final in Lisbon after their stunning 5-0 aggregate success over defending champions Bayern Munich.

"In this moment, football is full of philosophers, full of people that understand much more than me," Mourinho said.

"The reality is always the reality. A team that doesn't defend well, doesn't have many chances to win.

"A team that doesn't score a lot of goals, if (it) concedes lots of goals, it's completely in trouble. A team without balance is not a team.

"When Atletico have the ball we have to defend; when we have the ball we have to attack.

"When they have the ball we have to try to stop them scoring; when we have the ball we have to try to score.

"This is the football that I know. (When the) opponent has the ball you have to work defensively, you have to be organised.

"You have the ball you have to try to play according to the qualities of your players and your opponent.

"In this moment - depending on the coach and the club - the critics speak.

"If your opponents are very fast on the counter and want space behind your defensive line, if you give them that space you are stupid."

Mourinho has confirmed John Terry will captain Chelsea against Atletico and also stated that Eden Hazard is in contention to play for the first time since suffering a calf injury in the quarter-final second leg victory over Paris Saint-Germain on April 8.

"He is ready," said Mourinho of the Belgium international. "It's my option whether he starts or not, but he is ready."

However, Petr Cech will not be involved due to a shoulder injury after he trained on Tuesday alongside injured personnel, suspended players and those fully fit to show solidarity, added the Chelsea boss.

"Everybody's ready and he's ready and that's the message we wanted to give," he said. "Everybody was on the pitch.

"It's a very important match for our group. Everybody's together, everybody wants to help, everybody wants to play.

"His condition doesn't allow him to play, but the message is from him and the group."

Mourinho expects a difficult tie, with Chelsea's home advantage reduced by the fact they failed to score an away goal in Madrid last week.

"They are a good side. They are not a counter-attack side. They are a good side. They defend well, they score goals. They win matches. It's fair to say they are a very good team," he added.

"Against PSG we were in a position where we had nothing to lose and no one expected us to turn the result around. This is different.

"A draw with goals is good for them and not us, so you cannot say who has the advantage. To play at home is to play at home, but to have the advantage of away goals, it is very balanced.

"We have to enjoy and let's see if we go to Lisbon or not. I will go for sure in the summer, but let's see if we can go together."

Watch tonight's Champions League semi-final between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid live and exclusive on Sky Sports 1 from 7pm

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