Mourinho's call for consistency

Jose Mourinho says none of his current squad is untouchable ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League group game at Porto.

The manager, who famously led tomorrow night’s hosts to the Champions League in 2004, admitted he is looking for more consistency from his players after our mixed start to the campaign. He has everybody available for the game except the injured Thibaut Courtois, with Diego Costa’s suspension limited only to domestic football.

During his first spell in charge, Mourinho had labelled a number of his players ‘untouchable’ due to their regularly impressive form, but believes this season there are question marks throughout the group.

‘Zero,’ he answered, when asked how many would be untouchable this season. ‘To be untouchable you have to be consistent. You have to be a fantastic player but you have to be consistent. We have fantastic players, the players who gave us the title last season, no doubts about it, but football is about today, not about yesterday.

‘In football you have to be consistent in your performance, consistent in your emotion. To be a winner you don’t need to win all the time, you lose, you cannot win all the time, but you need a strong mentality every game, every day.

‘In this moment I don’t have untouchables. I have very good players, players I like very much. I like my squad, I like their qualities, their human qualities, they are a very good group of guys. That’s a privilege to work with a group I like so much, no doubts about it, but untouchables, only consistency can give you that.’

Mourinho was critical of the side’s first-half performance against Newcastle on Saturday, and is hoping to see a repeat of that in the second period, in which we came back from two goals down to earn a draw.

‘When you play the way we did in the second half it’s because we can play that way,’ he said. ‘So I think it’s not a question of if we can, we need to want, and if we want, we need to want for 90 minutes. You can win matches playing well for 45 minutes, that’s possible, we almost did it, but normally to win matches of a high difficulty, we have to play better than 45 minutes.’

Porto currently lead the Portuguese league table, while we sit unusually in the bottom half of the Premier League. Mourinho said this will not influence Tuesday’s encounter.

‘We are not going to finish in that position and are sure to improve,’ the 52-year-old said. ‘The fact Porto is in first place is a normal thing, it is usual for Porto to be there due to the quality of the squad. They have big hopes for the Champions League.

‘Games away are always difficult in the Champions League. Porto tend to be a big team and it will be very difficult to play against them. They want to win. They know they are not going to face a weak team, as some think.’ 

 Jose Mourinho holds the Champions league trophy in 2004

Speaking in the bowels of the Estadio do Dragao, a stadium he called once called home, Mourinho was repeatedly asked about his time as Porto manager in which he lifted the UEFA Cup and Champions League in successive seasons before departing for Stamford Bridge.

Before Monday’s press conference, the manager also visited the Porto museum to recall some of those glories.

‘As a museum it is amazing,’ he said. ‘When you are lucky to be part of it, when you are not just a simple visitor, you are somebody that did something to deserve to be part of that museum, it is very emotional.

‘You realise you did something important time will not delete. So for me it’s the kind of visit that makes my opponent’s heart a bit softer and I have now to go to the hotel and make it hard again, because tomorrow I have a big game.’