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Mourinho calm over trophy chances

ESPN staff
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Jose Mourinho's Chelsea face a pivotal four days © Getty Images
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Jose Mourinho is unfazed by the prospect of finishing the first season since his return to Chelsea without a trophy.

The Blues face a pivotal four days to determine if they can resurrect their Premier League hopes and advance to the Champions League final in Mourinho's native Portugal on May 24.

Mourinho travels without team

  • Jose Mourinho was forced to travel to Liverpool separately from his side as he is suffering with illness.
  • The Chelsea manager did not want to risk spreading the bug among his players ahead of the crucial clash at Anfield.

Liverpool hold a five-point lead ahead of Chelsea's trip to Anfield on Sunday and if the Blues fail to overturn the deficit Mourinho will have gone two successive seasons without winning a league championship for the first time, after missing out last term with Real Madrid.

If Chelsea, who play Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's Champions League semifinal second leg with the tie poised at 0-0, miss out on a second European Cup in three years it will be the first time the Portuguese has ever gone two successive years without any trophy at all.

But Mourinho, the most successful manager in Chelsea's history, said: "I'm not worried about it. I think match after match. When you give everything you have, when you try everything, when you work hard, when the group is good, when the group respects the club and the fans, you wait for the end of the season and you see what destiny has for you.''

In many respects this season has surpassed expectations for Chelsea, with Mourinho long insisting this was a campaign of transition.

Yet the Blues have been challenging for the Premier League title and only recent losses to Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sunderland have derailed their bid.

Given that Chelsea's chances of Premier League success with just three matches remaining are slim, Mourinho is contemplating wholesale changes at Liverpool to preserve his side's Champions League ambitions.

Injuries to goalkeeper Petr Cech, captain John Terry, Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto'o have exacerbated his concerns at the proximity of the matches against the Reds and Atletico.

Mourinho insists Hazard, who has not played since the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal with Paris Saint-Germain, is out of the Anfield trip, but the Belgium international revealed he trained with the first team on Friday and has a chance of featuring against Atletico.

"I trained with the squad and it was good,'' Hazard told Chelsea TV.

Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel are suspended for the Atletico clash, while Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are ineligible so all four are expected to play at Anfield.

Hilario could get a rare appearance - a first for two-and-a-half years - in goal as Mourinho is wary of risking Cech's deputy Mark Schwarzer.

Matic, though, insists whatever team Mourinho fields will be ready for the challenge.

The midfielder told Chelsea TV: "It's very important for us, for all people in the club, for the fans. We prepare good, we train very hard and we are ready for the game."

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