“Frustrated and unhappy” after making their worst start to a top-flight season in 29 years, José Mourinho’s Chelsea are looking for a European fillip against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
José Mourinho, Chelsea manager
We are not all smiles, laughing and joking. When people are not getting the success they work for – and I promise we are working a lot for that – people get frustrated and unhappy. The only real problem we have is we don’t have good results. At other clubs you have to go back two, three, five, six, ten years to remember good results. In our case you have to go back three months. Three months ago we were the best team in the country, the best manager, the best players.
I respect Maccabi and I have watched them play many matches. I did my study, I know the team. I also had information that, in the last week, they trained with a different tactical system and will probably come to play with five defenders. I am fine. I promise you, I’m fine. I’m not happy, I’m not used to losing so many times, but I’m adapting. I’m not adapting to losing, but to the situation – the challenge – to have to improve.
There is one point that is fundamental in football, and that is the confidence levels. Especially with people who are used to winning all the time. When you don’t it’s a strange feeling. Some people have more experience of that. Some deal with that negative moment better than others.
Slaviša Jokanović, Maccabi Tel Aviv coach
It’s a nice moment for me, back at a place that was my home many years ago. I was also here [as Watford manager] at the beginning of the year for an FA Cup game. I have great memories of the past season here in England but now I am focused on what is in front of me.
I am very proud to be here with Maccabi Tel Aviv; we are here to find out what level we’re at. We have achieved great results this summer. We surprised some better teams and deserve to be where we are.
I am going to enjoy this moment, this opportunity to test myself, my team and Israeli football. After 11 years Maccabi Tel Aviv are back in the competition.
Chelsea: Begović; Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Baba; Matić, Fàbregas; Willian, Pedro Rodríguez, Hazard; Rémy.
Out: Courtois (knee), Falcao (tendon)
Doubtful: Oscar (unfit), Ramires (leg)
Maccabi Tel Aviv: Rajković; Shpungin, Ben Haim I, Tibi, Ben Harush; Igiebor, Alberman, Mitrović, Miha, Ben Haim II; Zahavi.
Out: Dasa (suspended)