Jose Mourinho wants his side to express their own attacking capabilities tonight against free-scoring Manchester City. Understandably, it is the Citizens’ scoring feats that have dominated the headlines for much of the season, having struck 72 goals in their 18 home games so far, but with our defence in fine fettle it is unlikely they will find an easy way through a rearguard that has conceded just two goals in nine games.
Mourinho believes we can also pose problems for City going forward in a clash he hopes is not affected by the man in the middle.
‘The intention with which we are going there is to play our game, play a good game and remember they also have to stop us,’ said our manager. ‘We will think more about us than about them.
‘I want to attack them, I can tell you that. But maybe after 10 or 20 minutes you realise Jose isn’t attacking. If I don’t it’s because I can’t. I don’t know if other teams refuse to attack or if they can’t do it.
‘This game is 11 against 11 and I hope the referee is good and not unlucky. Mike [Dean] is a very good referee so I trust him completely, but I hope he is not unlucky to send somebody off like the officials did with Danny Rose [when Tottenham played Man City]. I hope it is a good game, and after that if Man City are much better than us and we can’t express our game and our football, that’s a different story.’
City’s proficiency in front of goal has perhaps influenced the way people perceive their expensively-assembled side, with costly but exciting Chelsea teams of the past not always the beneficiary of such plaudits. Mourinho puts the shifting landscape in that respect down to the plenitude of big-money takeovers that have taken place since ours back in the summer of 2003.
‘Time changes. In society there were many things people were looking at wrong 20 or 50 years ago and now it’s something very normal,’ he explained.
‘In my time we were accused of buying the title because our owner was Mr Abramovich. Maybe 10 years ago a huge investment in the club was something the people hated, and in this moment it’s something people accept in a different way, so maybe now people see City in a different way.
‘I don’t want to be popular. I want to win more than ever. It doesn’t matter how times I have already done it. I am enjoying this process which will end in winning. If my relationship with the media and with the referees is fine and I have no reasons to be fighting with other managers and other people I don’t know why I should look for that.’