| 14.1°C Dublin

Jose: Pressure on City to win

Close

CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho claims Manchester City will be the team with "everything to lose" when the Premier League giants clash in the fifth round of the FA Cup next month.

Mourinho welcomed the tough draw, which was made minutes after his side beat Stoke 1-0 at Stamford Bridge to reach the last 16.

Another highlight of the fifth round will be the Emirates Stadium tussle involving Arsenal and Liverpool, two teams who remain in with a shot at the league and FA Cup double.

Big-spending City are chasing a quadruple, having already reached the League Cup final, where Sunderland await them. And while Mourinho recognises City's obvious quality, and goal threat at the Etihad Stadium which will stage their FA Cup encounter, the Portuguese boss has told his team to embrace the challenge.

Oscar's free-kick ensured Mourinho could celebrate his 51st birthday in style at Stoke's expense, and Chelsea will be able to prepare for the cup tie when when face City in Manchester on February 3, almost a fortnight before the cup match.

Mourinho said: "Our priority for the season is to improve and the best way to improve is difficult tests.

"We play against the best team twice in 15 days, in the best stadium, in the stadium where they win every week, smash everyone, score four, five goals every game even against the big teams like Arsenal, Tottenham, (Manchester) United.

"It's a good thing for us. We are playing very well in my opinion. It's good for us. If we lose, we lose against the best. If we don't lose, it's fantastic."

Mourinho added: "We are ready to go there and enjoy. We are going to go there with a good attitude. We have nothing to lose, they have everything to lose, they are the team that was made to win."

Oscar once again justified the faith the Chelsea boss has shown in him as the Blues began life without Juan Mata.

Mourinho, who read Mata's departing open letter to Chelsea fans, said: "I feel sorry that I didn't make him happy, but football is football and I build a team around Oscar in that position and on the sides the other people is doing very, very well."

Chelsea moved quickly to replace Mata and completed the signing of Mohamed Salah from Basle yesterday on a five-and-a-half-year contract.

Salah joins a squad performing well and with Oscar as the attacking focal point.

Mourinho praised Oscar's work ethic and the performance of his team.

"It's always good when you see a player that, after the normal training session, dedicates some minutes every day to train a specific thing. To score a beautiful goal was good.

"The 1-0 doesn't reflect the quality of our game and the dominance of our game.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes was magnanimous in defeat.

"Overall Chelsea on the day deserve to go through, but I was pleased we were very much in the game right till the end," Hughes said.

"You have to get a little bit of luck when you come to places like Stamford Bridge and maybe we didn't force the issue enough to change things in our direction.

"You're never happy to go out of a cup competition, but in terms of performance I'm reasonably pleased.

"We've got a huge game on Wednesday now so we'll pick ourselves up and go for that one."


Privacy