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Mourinho to Chelsea fans: I am sorry

By The Rainbow
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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has apologised to Blues fans for the club’s poor start to the season, insisting qualifying for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League is the minimum the supporters deserve.

Yet, he also suggested his team is not a candidate to win this season’s tournament.

Chelsea assured top spot in Group G after beating Mourinho’s old club Porto, 2-0, at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. But Mourinho insisted the fans deserve more, per an interview with BT Sport (h/t  Goal.com ‘s Chris Davie): “It's the minimum we can give to our supporters, which are magnificent to us, at this moment they give us more than what we deserve, especially to myself, they are unbelievable in their support towards me, I feel really sorry that I cannot give more than what I'm giving.”

Mourinho is no doubt referencing the club’s domestic struggles. Despite entering this season as reigning champions, the Blues are languishing in 14th place, a whopping 17 points out of first place.

Despite the poor results and performances, Mourinho has insisted luck has been against his team in England’s top flight. It’s a theme he continued after earning welcome relief in Europe’s premier club competition, per Davie: “I think we are not lucky in the Premier League and luck is part of the game.”

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Alastair Grant/Associated Press
Mourinho felt his side earned some rare luck against Porto.

Luck was certainly on Chelsea’s side when an own goal put them in front against their Portuguese visitors before Willian added the clincher.

Mourinho stressed how the opener was a slice of good fortune his team had merited, a reward they don’t always get in domestic action, per the club’s official Twitter feed:

But Mourinho also credited striker Diego Costa’s contribution. He even suggested the misfiring striker is close to a return to prolific form:

In spite of the win and Costa’s performance, though, Mourinho is still content to portray Chelsea as an underdog in this season’s tournament. He also noted how well that role suited him in the past:

The 2-0 scoreline not only reflected Chelsea’s attacking intent on the night, but it also revealed how resolute they stayed at the back. Mourinho was proud of both sides for the performance, according to the tournament’s official Twitter account:

But he reserved special praise for the Blues’ willingness to go forward despite the pressure of the occasion:

Interestingly, he won’t put winning the Champions League above turning around results in the Premier League this season. Specifically, he doesn’t want to have to rely on an all-or-nothing campaign just to qualify for next year’s tournament:

It would certainly be a mistake to rule out Mourinho lifting his third Champions League trophy at the end of this season. Whatever his struggles are in the league, he’s always been a master at making progress in Europe.

Chelsea’s squad still has enough forward firepower to upset any team. If the likes of Diego Costa, Eden Hazard , Willian, Pedro and Cesc Fabregas can click, Mourinho’s defensive pragmatism could produce a potent combination.

It’s one that would make Chelsea feared in this year’s tournament.

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