Is Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho Right to Be So Confident Ahead of PSG Showdown?

Garry Hayes@@garryhayesFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2014

Getty Images

We saw another side to Jose Mourinho on Monday evening as he spoke to the media ahead of Chelsea's Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

In the immediate aftermath of the Blues' 3-1 defeat at Parc des Princes last week, the Chelsea manager had described his team's defensive display that led to Javier Pastore's late goal as "ridiculous" on Sky Sports.

He was dejected and annoyed, and his body language signaled a man resigned to his team's fate. All seemed lost.

This time was different.

On the eve of the return leg at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho was somewhat more bullish in his assessment of whether Chelsea have what it takes to turn around this tie and advance to the semifinal.

The Champions League is a competition that inspires him like no other, and on Monday, the Portuguese manager had a glint in his eye.

Brace yourselves: Chelsea aren't going down without a fight. Fighting spirit is certainly what the Telegraph's Henry Winter is expecting.

Not with a whimper. Please, don’t go out with a whimper. If Chelsea’s European season is to end on Tuesday evening, so terminating an era, please let it be with the sweat and defiance that has characterised the team in the past decade, giving everything, fighting the odds and never, ever going quietly.

The atmosphere at Mourinho's press conference was in stark contrast to what we have seen of late. The attitude of recent times, where he has written off his team's chances of lifting the Premier League, was gone, replaced by an eagerness to put right the wrongs of six days ago.

This was a Mourinho with renewed vigor—a manager approaching the task ahead with gusto, welcoming the challenge of keeping his team in the hunt for the European Cup.

"If Paris tomorrow [Tuesday] is knocked out, it will be a big disappointment for them," Mourinho said. "If tomorrow, we are knocked out, it is something that in this moment, a lot of people are expecting.

"That's the reason I say, and I think, that we have to enjoy the risk for the situation. At 9.30 pm we could be out and we know that we have this risk. But at 7.45pm, we have chances to be in the semi-final.

"We have to have a smile on our faces, go and play and give everything. At 9.30pm, let's see what happens."

Mourinho left that last line dangling there—almost tempting fate to challenge his belief that Chelsea will advance at PSG's expense.

He has every reason to believe it too.

In Paris, we didn't see a team racing clear at the top of their league, a team to be feared. What we witnessed was Chelsea proving to be the masters of their own downfall in helping the Frenchmen score after just four minutes, before scoring an own goal and defending woefully to allow a third at the death.

Chelsea players wouldn't have kicked themselves that night—their manager would have done that for them after watching them commit enough errors to allow PSG to take control of the tie.

"In Paris, we expected Paris to play very well, to control the game, to have the ball and be very dangerous" Mourinho continued.

Michel Euler

"[Instead] we were dangerous to ourselves. We scored half the first goal, we scored the second goal [David Luiz's own goal], and we scored the third goal. Plus our goal, we scored three-and-a-half goals in that match.

"It was not Paris that played very well."

And that's where Mourinho will draw his belief in this tie being far from over.

Are PSG going to be offered gifts like they were last week? It's highly unlikely. And without their talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the aura isn't quite what it was ahead of kick-off in the French capital.

Laurent Blanc will still have Edinson Cavani to lead the line, but the exclusion of 40-goal Ibrahimovic on account of a hamstring strain will be a considerable blow. They will be weaker.

It isn't going to be plain sailing. There are never any easy games at this stage—and there are plenty more cliches where that came from to remind us of the task that lies ahead.

Chelsea haven't got going in the quarterfinal. They have 90 minutes to ensure they do, and how often have Chelsea, least of all Mourinho's Chelsea, failed to rise to a challenge?

Matt Dunham

Were it Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Real Madrid, reversing a two-goal deficit would be another situation completely.

It isn't.

This is Paris Saint-Germain. It's an all-or-nothing Champions League tie beneath the lights at Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea have their destiny in their own hands.

Mourinho knows that, and as he left the media room at Stamford Bridge, the battle had already started in his eyes.

He's reminded his players, and now they must hear his call.

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @garryhayes


    Dani Alves: 'If Barca Call Me I'll Go Back Tomorrow'

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Dani Alves: 'If Barca Call Me I'll Go Back Tomorrow'

    Sweden: Ibra Must Call to Have World Cup Chance

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Sweden: Ibra Must Call to Have World Cup Chance

    Will Tite Manage in Europe After Taking Brazil to World Cup?

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Will Tite Manage in Europe After Taking Brazil to World Cup?

    Tim Vickery
    via World Soccer

    It Just Wasn't to Be for Young Blues

    Chelsea logo

    It Just Wasn't to Be for Young Blues

    via Thechels