It’s all about winning – Mourinho

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Published: Saturday 2nd May 2015 by The News Editor

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed his motivation is simply about winning.

Victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday would see Mourinho’s men crowned Barclays Premier League champions.

The Portuguese said: “The basic thing about football is the most pure feeling: you go there, you want to win.

“It doesn’t depend on the level you are. To be champions in the Premier League is not a different feeling to being champions in League One, League Two or the Conference.

“Everyone has his level, but in terms of human feelings, they’re exactly the same.”

Mourinho has spent this week rebuffing Arsenal’s chants of “boring, boring Chelsea”.

The Blues boss admitted a change of approach to “more strategic, less artistic” in recent weeks, but believes Chelsea will be deserving winners if they claim the three further points needed for the title.

He added: “You analyse it by every perspective and you find always a Chelsea very strong in every ranking: goals scored, goals conceded, record at home, record away, number of victories…

“That’s why, in such a difficult league to win, we’re top of the league since day one, which is not a record, but especially in modern football, it’s something very difficult to do.”

Chelsea play Palace without Diego Costa, who may not play again this season – a debut campaign in England which has been punctuated by hamstring problems.

Loic Remy is back from a calf injury and could start up front in place of Didier Drogba.

Thibaut Courtois may return in goal after a minor hip problem, replacing Petr Cech, while Oscar could return to the starting line-up.

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew believes his team can bounce back from the “worst performance” of his reign and temporarily delay Chelsea’s title celebrations.

Pardew’s side had been on a four-match winning run, which included a victory over Manchester City, before being jolted by 2-0 defeats at home to West Brom and then Hull.

With Palace having secured their Barclays Premier League status, though, Pardew, by his own admission, is finding it difficult to maintain motivation levels similar to those being employed by the likes of Hull, and Sunday’s opponents Chelsea.

Mourinho’s Blues need just the one win to clinch their first title in five years, so a coronation atmosphere at Stamford Bridge is perhaps the last thing Pardew needs.

But the former Newcastle boss struck a relatively defiant note on Friday, having already seen his players respond to the Hull loss by putting in the extra yards in training.

“I think we probably shot ourselves in the foot in those last two home games,” Pardew said. “Saturday was, by far, the worst performance under me at this football club.

“We need to respond for ourselves and for the Premier League because we need to keep the title race open if we can.

“We don’t want them to win it on Sunday, of course. For us, it’s an important game. We’ve played very well against the top sides since I’ve been here. We want to continue that.

“It’s a great day for us to be involved in. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. If they beat us, we’ll accept it.”

On a personal level, Pardew will be hoping to secure his second win of the season against Chelsea, having masterminded a first defeat of the campaign for Mourinho’s men when his Magpies ran out 2-1 winners at St James’ Park on December 6.

Less than a month later, Tottenham beat Chelsea 5-3 to make it a less than happy New Year’s Day for Chelsea.

Those may have been the only blips in the Blues’ season, but Pardew is relishing the task of trying to inflict a third league loss on the champions-elect.

“We had a good game-plan and deserved to win on that day (in December),” Pardew said.

“I remember Jose being upset that we wasted time. I think if they’re 2-1 up with about five minutes to go, I’ll expect them to waste time. That’s how it is.

“I know Stamford Bridge well. If there’s a team that I know well, it’s them. I have studied them – I know how they play.

“We’ve got a great away record at the moment. We’ve got to try to produce a performance that doesn’t get carried away by the emotion of the day. Jose will be hoping for the same. His process of how he wins games and how I win games is different.

“Jose has this great ability to take teams to another level. The Champions League win with Porto, the Champions League win with Inter were special. Only losing two games this season will be a hell of an achievement.

“I hope after the game we have a glass of wine and he’s not jumping around too much!”

Published: Saturday 2nd May 2015 by The News Editor

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