CHELSEA goalkeeper Petr Cech has warned former Stamford Bridge boss Jose Mourinho that his mind games will not sabotage the Blues’ Champions League hopes.
Inter Milan coach Mourinho has indulged in characteristic psychological warfare as he prepares to face his old club tomorrow for the first time since his acrimonious departure in 2007.
The outspoken Portuguese tactician, who famously dubbed himself the Special One, insists he knows the current Chelsea side inside out, having signed and managed the majority of the first team.
But ahead of the last 16 tie’s first leg at the San Siro, Cech dismissed Mourinho’s pre-match comments as just another attempt to gain a competitive edge.
“When Jose says these things, he always has a reason,” said Cech. “He wants to prepare for Wednesday’s game in his way and give his team the advantage. Yes, he knows the players here and what we can do. But we also know him and the way he likes his team to play. It is just words.
“All we are worried about is what happens on the pitch. Talking is talking, but let’s see who is the best at playing.”
If Mourinho facing Chelsea again were not appetising enough, the match is lent further spice by the simmering enmity between him and current Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, who was until last summer coach of Inter’s bitter rivals AC Milan.
“Of course it is exciting to face Jose again and for the Chelsea supporters it is going to be a special occasion,” Cech added. “But life goes on and he is now successful with Inter Milan and we have also been successful at Chelsea. I have not spoken to Jose since he left. It will be nice to see him again and shake his hand. But we cannot think about the past, only the future. And the future for Chelsea is to beat Inter Milan and go through to the quarter-finals.”
Mourinho was yesterday banned for three domestic matches and fined £35,000 for making a gesture after Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Sampdoria, in which two Inter players were sent off.