| 6.7°C Dublin

Rafa and Mata focused on Basel 'danger'

Juan Mata and Rafael Benitez preferred to focus on Chelsea's immediate future – tonight's Europa League semi-final second leg with Basel – rather than be concerned by the possibility of Jose Mourinho returning to Stamford Bridge.

Both the Chelsea playmaker and interim manager declined to comment to direct questions on the prospect of the self-titled 'Special One' being installed as Blues boss for a second time after the Portuguese's come-and-get-me plea following Real Madrid's Champions League exit.

"It's not my business," Benitez said. "I have to concentrate on this game. That's it. I think it's quite important."

Mata added: "We just have to be focused about what we're playing for, which is a very important trophy for the club, to be third in the league and try to play in the Champions League."

Towards the end of his second season at Chelsea, Mata has already experienced three managers.

"It's true since I came I had three managers. I really enjoyed myself with all of them and now we're with Rafa and we have the chance to win another trophy with him."

The immediate priority is ensuring Chelsea advance to the May 15 Europa League final in Amsterdam.

"It's going to be a dangerous game," added Mata.

David Luiz's stoppage-time free-kick in Switzerland last week earned Chelsea a 2-1 first-leg win.

Luiz is among those who could play despite the fact if he receives a yellow card he would miss the final. Ashley Cole is banned, while fellow left-back Ryan Bertrand and John Obi Mikel and Ramires are also on yellow cards.

Chelsea's task is complicated by the need to qualify for next season's Champions League. The Blues sit third ahead of Sunday's match at Manchester United and next week's crucial London derby with Tottenham.

Mata said: "If we play like we've been playing, all together, I think we can do both."


Privacy