Going into his first home game and first Champions League clash as Spurs manager, Jose Mourinho has insisted he is focusing on qualification rather than winning the competition.
The 56-year-old has had much success in the competition having shot to fame when his Porto side did the impossible and won the title in 2004.
He has since won it again with Inter Milan and made multiple semifinal appearances with Chelsea and Real Madrid.
Ahead of Tottenham’s clash against Olympiacos, Mourinho talked about his love for the competition and his desire to win one more title.
However, he did reiterate the importance of taking one step at a time and first ensure progression to the knockout stages with a victory over their Greek opponents.
Speaking to Football.London, the 56-year-old said, “I love the competition as much as everyone in football. It’s something that everybody dreams about, to win it and not everyone has the privilege to be a Champions League winner which I was happy enough to do it twice.
“Do I want to win it a third time? Of course, I would love it but I know the difficulties of it. And at this moment, it is not the moment to speak about it. It is the moment to qualify
“Plenty of experience in the competition, I think it is my 148th game and I think one of the reasons why my teams were never out in the group phase, was exactly because was because we always thought about the group phase and we never thought about what could happen after that.
“Six matches, in our case two matches to qualify, and that needs to be our focus. Tomorrow is one that can gives us the qualification and we have to understand that it’s not an easy match, good opponent, good coach who I know well.
“We drew in Athens, that shows there is not a big gap between the two teams so a difficult one for us, but, hopefully, we can get the result we need to qualify.”
He claimed that the team could use the experience of getting to the final last season and go one better this time round.
When asked about Pochettino’s remarks about the hangover after the Champions League final defeat to Liverpool, Mourinho said, “If Mauricio says that, then it is based on experience that he lived here.
“And probably he is also sharing a little bit of his own feelings. When you are almost landing on the moon and you don’t do it.
“I believe the frustration is very, very high but at the same time if you look to a team like Liverpool and they still had the frustration of not winning a final and then the next season they reached the final for the second time and they won the competition.
“So I think it depends on the people’s mentality and the way you react to such a big disappointment. I can imagine to lose a European Cup final has to be a big disappointment.”
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You could already see the massive difference between Mourinho’s rhetoric in comparison to Pochettino’s. The Argentine would constantly play down expectations and remind people about how the team was overachieving while Mourinho is doing the opposite and getting people to set high expectations.
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