Chelsea vs. PSG: Key Takeaways from Jose Mourinho's Pregame Presser

Jason PettigroveContributor IApril 7, 2014

Chelsea FC coach Jose Mourinho speaks during a press conference prior to a training session at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Tuesday April 1, 2014. Paris Saint Germain will face Chelsea FC in a Champions League quarterfinal soccer match on Wednesday April 2. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Associated Press

Jose Mourinho was in a confident mood at his pre-match press conference, prior to the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Paris St. Germain.

Arriving alongside Andre Schuerrle, the German was the first to speak to reporters and noted how difficult the tie would be, as the team's official Twitter account shared:

Despite the obvious difficulties in turning the tie around, Schuerrle said that he and his team-mates believe they can spring a surprise:

It was a theme echoed by the Chelsea manager as he took the microphone:

The Portuguese then set about doing what he does best: playing mind games.

His notion that Chelsea are expected to go out and the pressure is all on the French champions-elect was a little mischievous, and it showed Mourinho at his finest.

Samuel Eto'o may play some part in the match, even though Mourinho noted his striker wasn't "fit, fit."

After the manager's comments toward Fernando Torres after the first leg, via ESPN, it's easy to understand why Eto'o may well get his chance.

Samuel Eto'o joined in with training at Cobham on Monday afternoon.
Samuel Eto'o joined in with training at Cobham on Monday afternoon.Matt Dunham

The Cameroonian certainly has the big-game Champions League mentality, having been all the way to the final with Barcelona on two occasions in 2006 and 2009, scoring in both.

Dominic Fifield of The Guardian had noted Eto'o had played some part in Monday's training session after being left out of the squad for the Premier League game against Stoke at the weekend, but also identified the following:

Eto'o undertook his own stretching routine, working with the assistant first-team coach Rui Faria, while José Mourinho's squad conducted their warmup. 

The fact the striker was not able to play a full part from the start is an indication of the serious doubts still surrounding his participation against PSG.

Is playing a half-fit striker really a gamble that Mourinho wants to take at this stage of the season? 

PSG are missing their main man up front, of course. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was withdrawn in the first leg with a hamstring injury, but the away side's problems were of no concern whatsoever for Mourinho:

Whilst the French side will surely miss Ibra's presence, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani showed in the first leg in Paris that John Terry and Gary Cahill are going to have to be on their mettle from the very first minute to the very last.

Their sloppiness at the end of the game was labelled "ridiculous" by Mourinho in his post-match interview, via ESPN.

However, the tone of this press conference was entirely positive and upbeat. There aren't too many better than Mourinho when it comes to saying exactly the right thing at the right time.

Noting the part the fans would play, he then placed the responsibility firmly on his own players' shoulders. Chelsea's official Twitter account detailed his words: "We need the supporters but without a performance from the team it is more difficult for them to support."

When asked about who might cause his team problems on the night, the deflection away from PSG and focus straight back on what his team would do was as necessary as it was brilliant. Why should the Chelsea manager concern himself with what his opponents were up to?

He continued talking up the Blues' possibilities by suggesting that goals won't be a problem:

Such a confident performance in front of the cameras should have the whole of West London buzzing before kick-off on Tuesday night, on what could be a glorious European night.

Before finishing, one of the reporters was happy to remind Mourinho that the final takes place in his home country. His response, per Chelsea's Twitter account: "The fact the final is in Lisbon doesn't motivate me more. I always want to do it for me, my club and the supporters," was entirely in keeping with his whole mood throughout.

If Chelsea can pull the rabbit from the hat, there is no reason why the Blues wouldn't fancy their chances in any semi-final, given the all-round excellence of their French opponents. 

However, the two legs of the semi-final sandwich a possible Premier League title decider at Liverpool, and Mourinho certainly cannot afford to rest his key players in that one.

For the manager to prioritise either tournament at this late stage too is unlikely. Therefore, his players will need to continue to produce the goods to ensure a successful conclusion to the season.

Simply put, Jose Mourinho expects to win, and he isn't looking for excuses.