Chelsea manager José Mourinho spoke to the media in the press room after the victory against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
The Portuguese coach was relieved after the three points in the Champions League game:
“We hadn’t won a game for so long so it’s a good feeling.
“The penalty we missed was a big test for us because when everything has gone against you – red cards, penalties against you, decisions, bad luck, injuries – and you start a game you have to win and after five minutes miss a penalty, it’s a great test of the character of the players and the team. It was good we had an extra negative episode and the reaction was very good.
“The team had a big determination to be a bit different and to show a different state of mind. I’m happy with the performance and the result.
“The team was more aggressive with and without the ball. The pressing was much stronger. The lines were closer together. There was a very good reaction when we lost the ball to try to recover it immediately; to try to force the mistake in the opponent instead of waiting for their mistakes.
“We moved the ball very well. Fabregas and Loftus-Cheek gave speed to the team. The ball was quickly leaving defensive areas and reaching attacking players. We played well. I know we didn’t beat Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich but we beat a team that arrived here having deserved to beat Basel and coming here to make it difficult for us. It was not difficult because we played so well.’
Mourinho was asked if the victory meant more than simply three Champions League points:
“I can imagine how difficult it would be for for all of us to wake up tomorrow after a defeat, to go to Cobham to train again after a defeat, two days before a derby against Arsenal – so the victory is very important.
“Also the last two seasons we didn’t start well in the Champions League at home. We put ourselves in a situation where we had to win points away. In this moment these three points plus Porto’s draw with Dynamo gives us a good situation.’
Ruben Loftus-Cheek started tonight and impressed in the midfield:
“He played very well which is very good for us. He is in conditions to compete with the other players for opportunities and minutes, but he is having minutes. He is potentially a very good player but you have to feed these young players and choose the right moment. The reality is his evolution is important and good“.
Chelsea fans sang the manager’s name many time tonight, but Mourinho prefers the team to be supported:
“First of all it’s more important they support the players like they did. I’m happy when they sing ‘Chelsea’, ‘we know what we are, champions of England’ and I prefer when they sing the players’ names.
“I am not waiting for that kind of support [towards me] but obviously it’s welcome. I prefer that to them booing me. It shows me they don’t read papers or they don’t have short memories.”
Arsenal is next opponent of the Blues, on Saturday:
“I will start thinking about it tomorrow. Everything was on Maccabi. Tomorrow I will watch Arsenal, and I will try to understand how my players are – how Oscar is, Willian is out for sure, I think Pedro is out for sure – so let’s see. I prefer problems because players had good performances than problems because the performances were not good“.