Mourinho feared defeat at Norwich

first_imgChelsea manager Jose Mourinho revealed he ‘smelt defeat’ before making game-changing substitutions which saw his side go on to beat Norwich 3-1 in their Barclays Premier League clash at Carrow Road. Press Association “The situation had become difficult at 1-1. We all knew that a point here would be a bad result for us, but I think the team – not just the boys who came on – coped well with the pressure and, without totally losing the balance, we could gamble and risk a bit to try and bring something different to the game to see if Norwich could cope.” Mourinho acknowledged Norwich had pushed his side, using the strengths of a squad assembled at a fraction of the cost of his own. “It was very British in the sense of the emotion,” he said. “You could feel the crowd waiting for moments of emotion. They were winning a corner and the emotion was coming into the game. They put a long ball in the box to (Ricky) van Wolfswinkel and the noise was pressing for the second man arriving in the box. It is their style adapted to the players’ profile. “They have this. I don’t have, so I have to go with what I had. I had to put Eden and Willian, all three on, two quick strikers with Eden and (Samuel) Eto’o. We go with what we have.” Mourinho feels there is nothing wrong with playing to your strengths. He added: “I think that if you try to play like other people do, and you have no players for that, you are very stupid. “I won the league in Spain with 100 points and my team were not playing like Barcelona were. If you try to play like someone else does, you never reach their level. “You have to try and be the best to the style of your players. That’s very simple. “When I say to (Branislav) Ivanovic: ‘Don’t make an early cross because (Didier) Drogba is not there,’ I know what I’m saying. He’d be crossing for what? Why would you want to play like another team? Don’t try to be clever because you’ll become stupid.” Norwich manager Chris Hughton was disappointed his side were not able to close out the final 20 minutes to secure what would have been a hard-earned point at the least. He said: “I generally felt, on the balance of play after conceding a poor goal so early and giving them that momentum, we couldn’t have asked for any more effort and determination. “It was their second goal which hurt us. It came from our corner and we were set up very well, but their power and pace on the counter-attack got the better of us, then at 2-1 it became very difficult for us. “You have to hold your hand up sometimes: the strike for the third goal, they have that kind of quality.” Hughton felt his side should have been given a spot-kick when Pilkington was tripped by Ramires. “Anthony gets to the ball first, and with Ramires’ action, then he ends up going over. Generally that is a penalty, but it is disappointment. “Still, the players put in a really good effort. Our supporters appreciated what they did and I felt we deserved to get more.” After the introduction of Eden Hazard and Willian, Norwich saw all of their hard work undone when a poor back-header was seized on by the Belgian, who squeezed the ball under England goalkeeper John Ruddy before the Brazilian midfielder cracked in a superb angled drive to finally put the result beyond doubt. Mourinho said: “During the game I am not nervous. I have feelings. I smell things, and when that easy goal (from Ba) was missed, I had a smell that they would score a goal. “That is why I had Eden warming up at 1-0 because I smelled that. “We could have won or lost it at 1-1 because we, at that moment, didn’t want a point. “If they had scored a second goal, we would probably lose, but we are trying to be top. “After a point at Spurs, a point here would have been a bad result for us, so we tried to win it.” Mourinho felt he had to do something to try to turn the game back in his side’s favour, with Norwich dominating for long spells in the second half. “They come on and they change the game, the manager did very well. If they come on and make it worse, it’s a very bad decision by the manager. It is their responsibility,” the Blues boss said. The Blues – who made the 120-mile journey to Norfolk by plane on Saturday – had got off to a flying start when Oscar put the visitors into a fourth-minute lead after Demba Ba’s lay-off from a Frank Lampard through ball. However, instead of pressing on to take command of the game, Chelsea failed to make the most of their positive opening as Norwich, fighting for points at the other end of the table, responded after the break, and when Ba scuffed his shot in front of an empty net, the hosts were level through Anthony Pilkington, who earlier might have earned a penalty after being tripped by Ramires. last_img read more