Every player was happy to make Israel trip, claims Jose Mourinho

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Football News

Jose Mourinho said all of his Chelsea players were happy to travel to Israel for Tuesday night's Champions League clash with Maccabi Tel Aviv, despite heightened security following the Paris terror attacks.

The Blues boss revealed there was no repeat of the 2001 trip to Israel, when England left-back Graeme Le Saux was one of six players who did not make the trip for a UEFA Cup game with Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Marcel Desailly, Emmanuel Petit, William Gallas, Albert Ferrer and Eidur Gudjohnsen also did not travel on that occasion.

"We can just focus on playing," Mourinho said.

"The best way is to focus on football and the happiness you have to play football, the responsibility you have to play football and (to) leave security questions to people who know more than we do.

"I didn't have one single problem inside of the squad. I didn't have a Graeme Le Saux. I had everybody without fears, just wanting to come.

"I had even a player who maybe tomorrow or after tomorrow, his wife is having a baby and he's here to play, because he knows how important it is for us."

Asked who the expectant father was, Mourinho said: "He's one of the 20 with babies, because the factory is working well. Every two months we have a new baby."

Midfielder Nemanja Matic said it was not him.

Matic said: "Not me, I have two already, so I have to rest a little bit."

Chelsea, who beat Norwich 1-0 last Saturday to end a three-match losing streak in the Barclays Premier League, could qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League with victory, if Porto beat Dynamo Kiev.

"We are focused on what we have to do," Mourinho added.

"We are very disappointed with the bad results we had for a significant period of time and we need to keep getting results for our happiness, for our pride, and obviously for the people that support us, Chelsea fans."

The Blues beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0 at Stamford Bridge in September, but there will be no complacency, with the Portuguese reminding his players of last season's draw with Maribor, weeks after a 6-0 win.

Mourinho said: "I spoke with the players this morning and it was simple. I gave the example of last season against Maribor.

"We put ourselves in trouble. The attitude was not the best in Slovenia and we paid the price of that."

Mourinho also refused to comment on the situation at Real Madrid or their 4-0 loss to Barcelona in last Saturday's El Clasico.

"In this moment I see so many people speaking, especially about the clubs in trouble, it's amazing the lack of respect, the lack of ethics," Mourinho said.

"If I speak about Real Madrid, I speak when they are winning, not when they are losing. From me, words about the Clasico. Nothing.

"I don't enjoy other people losing matches. I enjoy my club winning matches.

"I don't smile with defeats from other teams, I smile with my victories.

"That's why I don't smile a lot in the last four, five months."


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