03 April 2012
Diego Jabalquinto / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Jose Mourinho talked to the press ahead of tomorrow's 20:45 CET clash with APOEL Nicosia at the Bernabeu.
"There won’t be many changes on the lineup. The only one who played in Pamplona and isn’t on the list is Arbeloa. The rest have been called-up to play. Pepe is here with me because he will play. It is a Champions League match and we have a very good aggregate. Very few believe APOEL will score four goals at the Bernabeu, but football is football and we must respect the crowd expecting a good football match, and we must especially respect our opponent. There will be few changes and what matters to us is reaching the semifinals."
"My players are fine. They don’t feel tired. They are confident and all want to play. We’ve earned very good numbers in the Champions League these last couple of years. We’ve obtained many victories, few draws and only one defeat. We want to continue doing a good job and earn another victory tomorrow."
"I only want my team to win and to play well. We’ve been obtaining good results regardless of who plays from the very beginning of the season, which is very important to me. Granero and Xabi played a great game in Pamplona and I’m very happy for that. Khedira and Sahin played together in Cyprus three days earlier and also gave a great performance. This is what’s most important and it shows the strength you lot want to unsettle with your articles. This group is strong and united. We’ve always felt the same way and we will stick together to the end. We will cry or laugh together on the very last day."
"I’m concerned about all injuries. I like it to be hard for me to choose. I don’t want it to be easy. Injuries make it easier for me to decide who plays, but I don’t like it. I’ve been told Lassana and Carvalho will train with the team on Friday, so they’ll recover sooner than later."
"You ask about Higuain and Aguero as a consequence to a front page with false information. If I start commenting on false front pages we’ll never stop doing it."
"I plan to watch the Bayern Munchen-Olympique Marseille match tonight because we could face either of them in the semifinals. For me it is the most interesting match."
"Di Maria’s injury is complicated. He’s been training at full pace for ten days, but that’s not the same as playing matches. He benefitted from the ten minutes he played in Pamplona and he will play more tomorrow, but not the entire game. He is very important to the team and we’ve missed him despite earning positive results."
"The unnatural thing for me is the great run my team is having in La Liga. A team cannot win 40 straight games, but no other side in Europe has a six point lead in its league, not to mention a ten point cushion. I think it is normal to draw against Malaga at the Bernabeu; that’s football for you. The match against Villarreal cannot be called a mistake… It wasn’t. Our silence was criticized, but I believe it was an intelligent collective decision because we wouldn’t have called it a mistake, but rather something else. We continued on our difficult path."