Mourinho says Real will be at their best
JOSE MOURINHO has warned Manchester City that Real Madrid will be “at our best” when they face them at the Bernabeu in their opening Champions League group game tonight.
The Spanish champions are reeling from a poor start to the season that continued with Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Sevilla, which left them eight points behind the leaders, Barcelona.
“To play against City motivates me as much as playing against Getafe,” said Mourinho.
“To win the Champions League motivates me like any other match. Motivation is something intrinsic to the job. The conviction is that tomorrow [on Tuesday evening] we will have a team. A determined, compact and solid team. I will try to field the team that I think will show up.
“Maybe we won’t be as relaxed, or filled with the same conviction and confidence we usually have against an opponent like City, coming off a game which was terrible.
“I’m sure we’ll be at our best. I could be wrong but that’s what I think. The line-up will not be very different [from Sevilla], nor will I try to show any player that they are not in the best condition. It will be the best that I consider to play against an opposition full of players of the highest level.
“I don’t believe I have created doubts. The principal person responsible is me. When my teams win, we win together, and when we lose, I am the one responsible. Before losing to Sevilla I said to the players what I then said in the press conference. For this reason it is not a criticism but a conviction.
“I said it to them before the game. Football is about today and tomorrow, not yesterday. Yesterday is history. I haven’t been able to keep my players motivated and concentrated at the top level and that is my fault.”
Mourinho shrugged off the idea that Real’s poor start in La Liga adds extra pressure to achieve success in a competition they have not won for a decade.
“At this level players and managers have already won things,” he said. “All of us have titles, professional and economic stability, we needn’t be worried about people nor waiting on their reaction.”
While Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has “a chance” of starting following his knee injury, Roberto Mancini said, David Silva, who signed a new five-year contract yesterday worth a basic €148,000 a week, is wary of Madrid’s indifferent form. “It is clear that, when everything is going well, they play with more confidence,” he said.