April 1 2015 Latest news:
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is ready for a Norwich City side playing for their football futures at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues’ chief has rammed home a simple message to his title-challengers ahead of their final home fixture of the campaign with so much at stake for both clubs.
Chelsea will go top with a win but Mourinho knows the Canaries are desperate for points to alleviate their own suffering in the relegation battle.
“It will be difficult,” he said. “They will be playing for their lives, they have two games to decide where they are next season; are they in the Championship or the Premier League? Are they playing against Arsenal or Man United? Are they playing at Anfield or the Emirates? Are they playing midweek in the Championship? It’s going to be very difficult.
“I have to motivate my players with the responsibility of finishing in the top three, which is very important for us. It gives us a better pre-season because if you are in a (Champions League) play-off your pre-season is completely different, it changes a lot and we don’t want that. I have to motivate my players with the fact the fans deserve us to win at home. We must also feel responsibility to be fair and correct with every other team who are playing for relegation. Cardiff, Fulham and Sunderland are not waiting for Chelsea to have a bad performance and lose against Norwich, so for many factors we must play a serious game but also respect professionals playing for their future.”
The Portuguese boss maintains his mantra the Premier League title race is between Liverpool and Manchester City but Mourinho is demanding his side capitalise on any stumbles.
The Chelsea boss believes Manuel Pellegrini’s side have been granted an unfair advantage in the scheduling of the final fixtures over the critical run-in.
“Imagine if we are not champions because we don’t win these two matches, it wouldn’t be a good feeling for the players,” he said. “What we have to do is win both games, we’re playing against two teams who desperately need the three points - Norwich and Cardiff.
“At this moment Manchester City have three matches to win to be champions, but you never know. The Premier League is the top of the world in terms of championships and to have a game in hand three days before the last game of the season is something amazing, but it is what it is.
“If they win three matches they are champions. If they lose any points and Liverpool win both matches Liverpool are champions, so it’s in their hands.”