Mourinho: Madrid will go for more goals at Spurs

BY foxsports • April 12, 2011

For a coach with a reputation built upon pragmatism, Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho does not sound too cautious ahead of Wednesday's Champions League quarterfinal match against Tottenham.

Madrid won last week's first leg 4-0 in Spain but Mourinho says his team is not coming to London to defend its lead - even with two matches against fierce rival Barcelona on the horizon.

''We have to respect Tottenham and we have to respect football, because football sometimes can betray you and you cannot give it the chance to do that,'' Mourinho said Tuesday. ''I don't think five goals is enough for Tottenham to beat us because we are coming here to score goals.''

Despite Saturday's Spanish league match against Barcelona - and the Copa del Rey final four days later against the same opponent - Mourinho said he will recall the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Oezil and Xabi Alonso after resting them for a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at the weekend.

''Without giving away my team, if you take one look at the bench in Bilbao, it will give you a good clue,'' Mourinho said.

No team has ever advanced in the Champions League after a 4-0 first-leg defeat and, ominously for Tottenham, Ronaldo appears to have overcome recent injuries. The Madrid winger took his season tally to 39 goals by scoring as a substitute against Bilbao.

France striker Karim Benzema has returned to training and traveled in a 21-man squad after missing three games to a leg injury, while midfielder Esteban Granero should play since he is suspended for Saturday's game at the Santiago Bernabeu - the first of four in 18 days against Barcelona if both Spanish sides advance in the Champions League.

But Mourinho insisted that he is not thinking about El Clasico.

''For me it means nothing because I do not think about it,'' Mourinho said. ''The most important match right now is tomorrow against Tottenham. I do not know how many years it is since Madrid played a Champions League semifinal.''

Mourinho has advanced from all four of his previous Champions League quarterfinals and won three of his four visits to White Hart Lane while manager of Chelsea.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said he has not been discussing history with his players, especially the failure of any team to overturn a four-goal deficit in the tournament.

''I've not told them that,'' Redknapp said Tuesday. ''They might say, 'What's the point in coming? Can I go shopping?'''

Redknapp wants his team to replicate the attacking verve that brought home wins over Inter Milan, FC Twente and Young Boys in what has been an eventful debut season in the Champions League. The veteran coach said Tottenham's strong home form means that a historic comeback is not impossible.

''I'd take penalties,'' Redknapp joked. ''We've been practicing.''

And while Madrid has won 21 of 27 quarterfinals including the Champions League's previous incarnation as the European Cup, Spurs' 100 percent record at the same stage is down to them only having entered the tournament once before - after winning their last English league title in 1961.

Redknapp is also trying to maintain a challenge for fourth place in the Premier League, but playmaker Luka Modric said he and other players will stay at the club even if it fails to qualify for next season's tournament.

''We can learn a lot from this season in the Champions League,'' Modric said. ''There is a bright future for us to become one of the best teams if we stay together for a long time.''

Midfielder Tom Huddlestone made his comeback from a five-month absence with an ankle injury against Stoke and could play, while Peter Crouch's suspension for his red card in the first leg means Roman Pavlyuchenko could lead the home attack at White Hart Lane.

''I was sorry for him but pleased for us,'' Alonso said of Crouch, his former Liverpool teammate. ''From the point of view of the team, the game did change and we controlled the play much better.

''He won't be on the pitch and he's always a dangerous player because of his qualities.''

With Alan Hutton out for the rest of the season and Vedran Corluka struggling with an ankle injury, central defender William Gallas could play at right back - with Aaron Lennon ahead of him on the wing.


share story