Jose Mourinho spoke to the press about ‘friend’ Louis Van Gaal and the little chance of Diego Costa making an appearance ahead of the game against Manchester United.
As Chelsea gear up to face Manchester United on Sunday, Mourinho is left without Diego Costa. The Spaniard is the joint top scorer in the Premier League with 9 goals. The striker was signed in the summer transfer window from Atletico Madrid for £32 million and has been a highly consistent performer for Chelsea. Costa had been struggling with a hamstring problem before he was admitted to hospital with a virus earlier this week thus making his chances of travelling to Old Trafford highly questionable.
“Diego has a chance, he has a little chance – the same as Mikel and Ramires,” Mourinho said.
“Everything happened to him. He was obviously injured and then he had to go to hospital before the Maribor game with a viral situation that we didn’t manage to resolve without him being in hospital overnight.
“The problem is that being ill obviously didn’t help his recovery because we didn’t want to bring him here to Cobham. All the treatment he did was the medical staff going to his house. We are trying and we will see what happens between today and tomorrow.”
Mourinho said that the mood in the Chelsea camp is a happy one and the team is ready for the game. The manager also confirmed that Chelsea will fight for the win and not settle for a draw like they did last season when the corresponding game ended 0-0.
“We are playing well, we are confident, we are top of the league and we are in a good position to qualify in the Champions League. The camp is happy and we are ready for the game.
“We go to every match to win but sometimes during a game a point is a positive point and a positive result. Last year at a certain moment the game was very difficult to win and I think both teams accepted the point as a normal result.
“On Sunday we go to win. If you give me one point now – and we don’t play the game – I will not accept it. I want to fight for the three points.”
Despite Manchester United’s mixed start to the season, Mourinho admitted that he still considers the Red Devils as one of the difficult opponents.
He said: “For me it doesn’t matter the manager, the moment, the table, the players – Man United is Man United and I always look at them independent of these factors.
“I like to play big matches, I like to play against the best teams. I like to play in the most difficult stadiums.
“I know the risk of not getting a good result is bigger in big matches. But I always like.
“For me to go to Old Trafford – I did it with four different clubs, with Porto, with Inter, with Real Madrid and with Chelsea – I like to go there, I like to play there.”
Mourinho is set to face his former mentor Louis Van Gaal for the second time in his career. Their last meeting was in the 2010 Champions League final when Mourinho’s Inter beat Van Gaal’s Bayern Munich 2-0.
Mourinho, who served as Van Gaal’s assistant at Barcelona said, “I’m not playing against Louis on Sunday, Chelsea are playing against Man United. During the match I have no time, and for sure he has no time, to look around and see who the opposition manager is.
“Before the match and after the match he is one of my big friends in football and I will always be happy to see him. I’ve never hidden what I feel about him.
“He was important. He gave me a good opportunity to keep working at a high level. As a young coach to be working four consecutive years at a club like Barcelona, one with Mr Robson and three with Louis, was very important.”