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'Motivated' Mourinho primed for Porto

Published: Tuesday 7 December 2004, 9.00CET
Holders FC Porto welcome back José Mourinho but can expect no favours from his Chelsea FC side.

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Published: Tuesday 7 December 2004, 9.00CET

'Motivated' Mourinho primed for Porto

Holders FC Porto welcome back José Mourinho but can expect no favours from his Chelsea FC side.

By Fergus O'Shea in Porto

UEFA Champions League holders FC Porto welcome José Mourinho back to the Estádio do Dragão on Tuesday night, but they can expect few favours from the new Chelsea FC manager.

Will to win
Chelsea assistant manager Steve Clarke took Mourinho's place at the pre-match press conference - because of security concerns surrounding his return - and he spelt out his manager's determination to secure another three points against his former team. "Mourinho is looking at it as another match to win," Clarke confirmed. "He is a very motivated person and loves to win. It's obviously a little bit special for him, but every game matters. We play to win every game. We have lost once this season, and didn't enjoy it."

Porto problems
While Chelsea secured first place in Group H with two games to spare, Porto have struggled to recapture their form under Mourinho, but gave themselves hope of reaching the knockout stages with victory at PFC CSKA Moskva a fortnight ago. However, Paris-Saint Germain FC currently occupy second place following their draw at Stamford Bridge on Matchday 5, and will progress regardless of Porto's result should they defeat CSKA in France.

Lack of goals
Porto's main problem this season has been a lack of goals, as Víctor Fernández readily admitted. "We haven't been scoring enough goals at home and this is something that has to be remedied," the Porto coach said. "Defensively we have been very good, as good as last year. Essentially the problem is a lack of goals and we are assuming that against Chelsea we won't be given many opportunities so we have to capitalise on the ones we get."

Hard work the key
Brazilian youngster Diego was in full agreement, adding: "We've been working hard to create opportunities, but the goals aren't coming. We have to work even harder because the more opportunites we create, the more goals we will get. Our objective right now is to score more goals."

Striking boost
The Porto attack could be bolstered by the return of another Brazilian, Luís Fabiano, after injury, and he may partner Benni McCarthy up front. Fernández said his side were relied heavily on the South African at present: "There is a dependency on McCarthy, but tomorrow we are hoping to make up for that deficiency with Fabiano and Derlei, who has been going through a bad patch but has a lot of motivation. We are also looking for more goals from midfield."

Miserly defending
Chelsea lead the Premiership by five points having conceded just six league goals all season, but Mourinho may opt to rest players with one eye on Sunday's meeting with second-placed Arsenal FC. Still, with Didier Drogba on target in Saturday's 4-0 win against Newcastle United FC and Mateja Kezman scoring his first league goal for his new club, Clarke is in confident mood.

'Big ambitions'
"Obviously you have to have respect for Porto after their success in Europe in the last two years," said the Chelsea assistant manager. "But here at Chelsea we think we are a big club and have big ambitions too."

'Pretty extraordinary'
Mourinho's return will capture most of the pre-match headlines, but Fernández believes being reunited with their former coach, and team-mates Paulo Ferreira and Ricardo Carvalho, can galvanise his team. "This is going to be a very special match," he said. "We are playing against a team who bought most of our best players. There is a lot riding on this match, a lot of rivalry and it's going to be very special. It's going to be pretty extraordianary."

Last updated: 07/12/04 10.31CET