COBHAM (England): Jose Mourinho is not worrying about having drawn title holders Liverpool in the Champions League.
He is much more concerned about the lesser seeded teams, Anderlecht and Real Betis in Chelsea's group.
Speaking on Friday after training for yesterday's top-of-the-table derby at Tottenham Hotspur, Mourinho said Liverpool, whom his side know well, offered no surprises even though they beat the English champions at the semi-final stage last season.
“I don't care about Liverpool,” the Chelsea manager said. “For me it's one more game in the Champions League and before that we have to play Anderlecht.
“Our group is dangerous not because of Liverpool but because of Betis and Anderlecht.
“You look at the third and fourth seeds in the draw and you see lots of easy clubs then you get Anderlecht with a lot of experience in this competition and you get Betis who are Spanish and Spanish teams are always dangerous.”
Chelsea have been knocked out of Europe's most prestigious competition in the semi-finals for the last two years. Mourinho has said the Liverpool defeat left him dissatisfied about his first season in charge despite his leading Chelsea to their first league championship for 50 years.
Mourinho, in dismissive mood, also scoffed at the importance of Chelsea's astonishing run against Tottenham who have not beaten their west London rivals in the league since 1990, drawing 11 times and losing 19.
“For me it's not important. Arsenal had a big record with Chelsea and the record is over. We professionals don't look at that. I think records are there to be beaten.”
Chelsea beat Arsenal last Sunday ending a 10-year streak for Tottenham's north London neighbours.
One record Mourinho said he would respect in Saturday's game was that of midfielder Frank Lampard, who will play his 150th consecutive Premier League game, extending his record for an outfield player.
“I'm aware of the record and I don't want to break the record just to give him a rest,” Mourinho said describing the England international's staying power as “fantastic”.
Lampard played full games on Sunday and Wednesday, scoring his 50th and 51st goals for the club. In between, his girlfriend gave birth to their first child and Lampard has been staying at the hospital with mother and daughter.
“For sure he is not sleeping so well,” Mourinho said. “But the heart is full and jumping with happiness, so ...” he shrugged.
Mourinho said full back Wayne Bridge and winger Arjen Robben were suffering from slight foot injuries and defender Ricardo Carvalho, yet to play this season after incurring his coach's wrath for complaining about team selection, had a calf problem. – Reuters