Mourinho puts pressure on Liverpool

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Published: Saturday 8th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho thinks Liverpool must win Saturday’s encounter with the Premier League leaders to keep their title bid alive.

Liverpool, whose hopes of a first championship in 24 years were ended by Chelsea in April, are 12 points behind Mourinho’s men entering the lunchtime contest.

“Liverpool know that, if they lose, they are 15 points behind,” Mourinho said.

“If they are 15 points behind in November, obviously it’s not over but it’s difficult.

“If they win, nine points behind is different to 15.

“It’s a very good motivation for them. So I expect them to try everything to win.”

The match is Chelsea’s third away game in the opening 11 fixtures against teams which share their title aspirations.

The trip to Anfield follows draws at Manchester City and Manchester United and a home defeat of Arsenal in an opening Mourinho described as “the most difficult fixtures of every team”.

The Blues boss believes his side are faring well in such games.

“When we leave Anfield, we will have left behind three of the most difficult stadia to play in all season,” he added.

“If, after 11 matches, we were in a mid-table position because we lost three matches, it would be something very normal, very acceptable.

“The points we are getting, one here, one there, three here, three there, are important points.”

Liverpool made wholesale changes for their midweek Champions League match at Real Madrid, with Reds boss Brendan Rodgers criticised despite a narrow defeat.

Mourinho anticipates those rested will return against his side.

“Brendan had an option and took it,” he said.

“Name the Liverpool team? I’d name the six guys on the bench in Madrid: Steven Gerrard, (Dejan) Lovren, (Raheem) Sterling, (Jordan) Henderson, (Mario) Balotelli, (Glen) Johnson.”

Mourinho attempted to prise Gerrard away from Anfield during his first spell as Chelsea boss, between June 2004 and September 2007.

Asked if he regretted missing out on Gerrard, a Freudian slip perhaps revealed Gerrard’s dwindling powers in Mourinho’s eyes.

The Blues boss added: “He had… he is having a fantastic career in his club, and he has an option to stay for life in the same club, become a legend of his home town club.

“I think it was a very respectful decision. I was never upset with that kind of option. No way.”

Mourinho refused to suggest how long he expected Gerrard to continue but ruled out returning for the former England captain if he became available.

One former Mourinho player who his Chelsea side are likely to come up against is Mario Balotelli, who thrived at Inter Milan under the Portuguese.

The former Manchester City striker has struggled since returning to the Premier League, failing to net in eight games.

Mourinho remains wary of the enigmatic Italy striker.

“I am very aware of him tomorrow,” he added.

“I have good memories with him, not bad. He’s a good, dangerous player and, because I know him so well, I will try to help my players to play against him.

“I know he’s dangerous.”

Mourinho declined to comment on the extract from Luis Suarez’s book where the former Liverpool striker revealed Chelsea’s players were instructed to play negatively in April’s clash at Anfield.

The Chelsea manager has had little time for autobiographies in recent weeks – as his reaction to Roy Keane’s book showed – and he has less interest in active players’ publications.

“Did you read the book? I didn’t,” Mourinho said.

“At 51, I might have enough stories to write a book. When you are 25? You write a book about when you are a kid?”

Mourinho declined an offer to write a book and has no immediate plans to pen his memoirs.

“I have an invitation to do a book, just with 100 pictures,” he added.

“I choose 100 pictures of my career and just make a little comment on every picture. A memory book.

“But not a book to tell ‘s***’ and to criticise people and to speak negative things about people who belong to my career. No way.”

Published: Saturday 8th November 2014 by The News Editor

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