Emotional Mourinho praises Chelsea support after Kyiv win

‘To have the whole stadium supporting me in a difficult time is an unforgettable moment in my career’

Jose Mourinho has praised Chelsea fans for their support of him during Wednesday night’s win over Dynamo Kyiv. Photograph: Reuters

Jose Mourinho has praised Chelsea fans for their support of him during Wednesday night’s win over Dynamo Kyiv. Photograph: Reuters

 

An emotional José Mourinho praised the vociferous show of support offered by Chelsea’s fans on Wednesday night, claiming “this is my moment” as his team overcame Dynamo Kyiv 2-1 to record a second win in nine matches and offer the ailing Premier League champions much-needed respite.

Willian curled in a glorious winning goal, the fifth free-kick from which he has registered this season, seven minutes from time to lance the tension and lift the home side above the visitors and into second place in Group G. Mourinho drew huge encouragement from his players’ reaction to being pegged back and was visibly emotional as his name was chanted regularly and ferociously by the majority inside Stamford Bridge.

“To have the whole stadium supporting me in a difficult time is an unforgettable moment in my career,” he said.

“When I came back to the club and we played the first match at home against Hull City, the way the stadium welcomed me was amazing. But not comparable to today. Today came in a moment where the results have not been good. It comes in a moment where people are asking for my ‘end’. The fans read newspapers. They watch television. They listen to pundits, commentators, opinions, read blogs, and this was quite unbelievable what they tried to say today.

Second Captains

“They tried to say: ‘We want you here.’ And, probably, they want to say: ‘All of you, let him work. We want him. Let him work.’ It was fantastic. The players showed they wanted to win. Today they did. Last week, no, but they showed again they wanted to win. And the fans showed their passion for the club. Fundamentally, that’s what they showed. Passion for the club. And then to support the club’s manager, that’s a way to show respect and passion for the club. Amazing, really.

“With Chelsea, I think this is my moment. It was amazing. The club should be proud of their fans. I can only thank them by giving everything I have, to thank them for this reaction. To win after conceding a goal with 15 minutes to go, it’s important … it’s something I spoke about with the players. ‘When the difficult moment arrives,’ I said to them, ‘face the difficult moment. Don’t collapse. Keep the belief.’

“The fans recognise I’m a good pro and have brought them great memories. Until my last day in this club, if that is in four years’ time, 10 years or 15 years, I will give everything to them.”

Mourinho, watched here by his family from just behind the dugout, has seen his side collapse in situations similar to the one provoked by Aleksandar Dragovic’s late equaliser. But where Chelsea had wilted against Southampton and Liverpool, they rallied here against Dynamo.

“I was impressed when I saw Liverpool at Anfield, when we beat them 4-1 [in October 2005] and, in the last 10 minutes, Anfield was singing for that team,” added Mourinho. “In good moments you see the streets full of people celebrating in a buzz, and it’s easy for kids to go to school in a Chelsea shirt when Chelsea win every match. But it’s not easy for 10- or 12-year-old kids to go to school with a Chelsea shirt when Chelsea are losing matches, when probably they are bullied by other kids whose teams are winning.

“The win is a big relief. To qualify, we didn’t need a win. So, at 1-1, it was not a drama. But, from a mental point of view, it was important to provide a reaction to a negative moment. In other matches we’ve played well, but when a negative moment arrived the team felt it too much, and it was difficult to emerge again in the game, to have control in the game. The team was strong mentally and kept trying, and I’m happy with that.”

(Guardian service)

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