Jose Mourinho has praised the home support in his press conference after his side’s 2-1 Champions League group stage win over Dynamo Kiev.
Speaking to the official Chelsea website, the Blues boss said that the win lifted a weight off the shoulders of his team.
He said he was particularly pleased with way his side responded to conceding a leveller late in the game.
“To qualify we didn’t need a win so it wasn’t a drama at 1-1, Mourinho said.
“We knew with a draw that if we win the next two matches we would qualify in second. From a metal point of view it was important to have a reaction to a negative moment. In other matches we’ve had good periods and played well, but when the negative moment arrived the team felt it too much and it was difficult to emerge again.
“Today it was perfect because we conceded a goal with 15 minutes to go and the team emerged.
“They knew a draw would be acceptable but they wanted to win. To have people like Hazard and Pedro on the bench helps the morale of the team because they know they can change the type of game we were playing, because with Oscar and Willian as wingers it’s a certain kind of football, with Pedro and Hazard it’s different.
“To win after conceding with 10-15 minutes to go was important. It’s something I spoke with the players a lot about in the last two or three days, saying when the difficult moment arrives, face it, don’t be affected, keep the belief and they were fantastic.
“Now we can still finish first, which isn’t the most important thing. The most important thing is to finish second (and qualify) but we can still finish first.”
Mourinho also praised the quality of his side’s Ukrainian opponents, who suffered their first defeat in the Champions League this season having drawn two and won one of their previous three games, including a 0-0 draw with Chelsea at the Olimpiskiy Stadium early last month.
“I have to say Dynamo are a very good team.
“I already told Rebrov and Sheva because they were here together. This Dynamo is much better than the one I played with Inter in 2010. In the last 10 years you look at Russian and Ukraine and you don’t think the teams are very good but it’s changing.
“To beat them is difficult. I knew it would be difficult to score and they are good on the counter attack. They have five giants from set-pieces and it’s difficult to control them.
“I knew the risks but in the first half we were very good and we deserved a different result. In the last part of the game the normal tendency is that if the game went on for another five or 10 minutes we would score more goals because the game was open. I hope they go to the Europa League, which would mean we go to the Champions League last 16, because their team in the Europa League will be a real contender.”
However, the 52-year old reserved special praise for the home supporters, who sang his name and displayed banners throughout the game, despite the club suffering their worst domestic start in almost 40 years and having crashed out of the League Cup.
“The moment I came back to the club and we played at home to Hull City, the way the stadium welcomed me was amazing, but not comparable to today, because today came in a moment when results aren’t good.
“It came at a moment when you (the media) are asking for the end of me. The fans read papers, watch television, listen to pundits and commentators’ opinions. They read blogs, and it’s quite unbelievable what they tried to say.
“They tried to say we want you here, and they probably wanted to say to you guys let him work. It’s a fantastic feeling.
“The players showed again they wanted to win and the fans show their passion for the club. That’s fundamentally what they showed, and then to support the club manager is a way to show their respect. It was amazing.
“It’s an amazing feeling for the club to know the fans are there in good moments and bad moments. In good moments when you see them celebrating on the streets with the bus, it’s easy. It’s easy for kids to go to school with a Chelsea shirt when we win every match, it’s not easy for kids to go to school with a Chelsea shirt when we are losing matches, they are probably bullied by other kids.
“The club has to be very proud of the fans. I don’t have another way of thanking them but to give all I have, which I have done always and which is what I will do always.”