Jose Mourinho hoping for change of mood as Chelsea eye Champions League last 16

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Jose Mourinho hopes to be smiling again when Chelsea play Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League on Tuesday night after responding to criticism from former Blues defender Graeme Le Saux with a veiled swipe.

Chelsea could qualify for the last 16 with victory in Israel, providing Porto beat Dynamo Kiev in the other Group G tie, relieving some worry from Mourinho after a woeful start to the season which sees the defending champions sitting 15th in the Barclays Premier League.

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

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

Mourinho was responding to questions about Real Madrid's 4-0 loss to Barcelona in El Clasico.

"If I speak about Real Madrid, I speak when they are winning, not when they are losing," the former Real boss added.

"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."

That was perhaps another message to Le Saux, who Mourinho earlier singled out for missing Chelsea's UEFA Cup game with Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2001 along with five other players.

Le Saux last month criticised Mourinho's "damaging" behaviour after a series of disciplinary run-ins with the Football Association and the Dr Eva Carneiro controversy amid Chelsea's miserable start to the season.

Mourinho insisted all of his players were happy to travel to Israel, despite heightened security in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

"I didn't have one single problem inside of the squad," Mourinho said.

"I didn't have a Graeme Le Saux. I had everybody without fears, just wanting to come."

The match takes place in Haifa's Sammy Ofer Stadium, 60 miles north of Tel Aviv, as the arena is more suitable for European fixtures.

The Blues beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0 at Stamford Bridge in September, but Mourinho has guarded against complacency by reminding his players of last season's draw with Maribor, weeks after a 6-0 win.

Mourinho, whose side ended a three-match losing streak in the Barclays Premier League with last Saturday's defeat of Norwich, said: "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.

"(The game) is simple. If we lose, we are in trouble. If we lose we depend on other results.

"If we get a draw we can qualify in the last game, but we cannot be first.

"If we win, maybe we qualify tomorrow and we have a big chance to finish first. The result tomorrow is very important for us."

The importance of remaining a Champions League club cannot be underestimated after Chelsea posted a loss of ?23.1 million in their annual financial results until June 30, 2015.

The Blues, who won the Premier League and Capital One Cup in 2014-15, reported the deficit kept them within Financial Fair Play limits.

A dip in revenues - from ?319.8m in 2014 to ?314.3m - was attributed to Chelsea's exit in the first knockout stage of the Champions League to Paris St Germain, following their semi-final place the previous season.


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