Jose Mourinho has spoken of the messages he has gotten across to Real Madrid’s players to ensure they are not overconfident in facing Galatasaray.
Los Merengues travel out to face the Turkish outfit for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final 3-0 up from the first leg played last week.
Even with this advantage, Mourinho has made clear in his pre-match Press conference that he has drilled his players to be at their best in Istanbul.
“I expect there to be no overconfidence. The message to the players has been that this will not occur,” the Portuguese commented today.
“The first message was to play against Levante leaving six or seven starters out. At the meeting this morning we have then watched a play-off game where a team that was winning 3-0 at home lost by the same score-line away.
“The second meeting was tactical on the opponent, playing with four in defence in the first half and then three at the back in the second. We are preparing seriously. I will be surprised if we are not prepared for this game of high difficulty.
“Are we favourites? Before the draw I thought that all the teams had the same chances. Now Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern are ahead.
“In the semi-finals, those arriving will all have the same chances. And my future has nothing to do with winning the Champions League or not.
“We have nothing to gain and everything to lose because everyone thinks we will win. We think of this game as a football game and not a knockout. We must forget that we are at 3-0, it’s a tie.
“If we do so tomorrow and lose 2-0 or 3-1, I will go home happy. Nobody plays to lose 1-0 or 2-0.”
Mourinho was asked of the other quarter-finals playing this week.
“The first legs that ended in draws are the most balanced. Those with Malaga and Barcelona start even. Juve and Bayern’s tie puts together two teams that can both win the Champions League, but Malaga and Barca’s games are the most balanced.
“However, football is never a guarantee and even winning the first leg 3-0 does not guarantee us anything.”
Meanwhile, the 50-year-old confirmed that Pepe is a doubt for the match.
“He had a muscular problem in the match against Levante and is doubtful. Tomorrow it will be decided. If I do not play Pepe, Albiol will play and I have the same confidence in one that I have in the other. We have great strength and experience, except for Varane.
“Why did I bring four goalkeepers and only three centre-backs? I did not want to leave Jesus training alone in Valdebebas.
“To Manchester I also took four goalkeepers. There were also the injured, Kaka and Carvalho, and the suspended. I also wanted to bring Nacho, who had played with Castilla.
“It is better to have all the defenders, but Essien, Nacho and Arbeloa can play at centre-back.