Mourinho keen to banish Cup blues

Mourinho keen to banish Cup blues

Chelsea will on Tuesday night bid to banish the memory of their Bradford beating by reaching Wembley at the expense of Liverpool.

Jose Mourinho will revert to his first-choice players for the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg as Chelsea bid to avoid a cup exit for the second time in four days and reach the March 1 final.

The Blues led Sky Bet League One Bradford 2-0 before losing 4-2 – in a performance branded a “disgrace” by Mourinho – have no time to dwell on the humiliation, but would be eliminated from a second cup competition in four days with defeat to the Reds.

“It’s the good thing about playing consecutive matches without many days in between,” said Mourinho, who on Monday celebrated his 52nd birthday.

“When you lose, you have to focus immediately on the next game.

“You don’t have a lot of time to be moaning or analysing what happened in the bad one.

“We don’t go to Wembley to play the FA Cup final, that’s for sure. The FA Cup is finished for us.

“To go there – and I think that should mean a lot to everyone – the last chance we have is this one, to play there in the Capital One Cup final.

“We are one victory away from playing a final.”

The first leg at Anfield was a 1-1 draw and the first time Brendan Rodgers’ Reds have avoided defeat against Mourinho’s Chelsea in four attempts.

Striker Didier Drogba, who is likely to make way for Diego Costa, knows Chelsea’s season could unravel quickly if they lose.

Mourinho keen to banish Cup blues

“Of course everything is capable this season, but at the same time, you can lose everything, like on Saturday,” said Drogba, who on Sunday collected the 2015 Football Writers’ Association Tribute Award at a gala dinner in London.

“After a defeat, you always want to bounce back and that is what we hope to do.”

It is an important week for Chelsea, who on Saturday play Frank Lampard’s Manchester City.

Lampard, Chelsea’s record goalscorer, spent 13 years at Stamford Bridge, many of them alongside Drogba.

Lampard’s Chelsea contract was not renewed last summer and he signed for Major League Soccer’s New York City FC, only to then join City on a short-term deal which has been extended to the end of the season due to his fine form.

The 36-year-old former England international, who scored the equaliser in the draw at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season, will be aiming to help second-placed City narrow the five-point gap with a win at his old hunting ground.

“I hope he is going to get the best reception like I had last year when I came to the Bridge with Galatasaray because that is the least he deserves,” Drogba added.

“I think he is a professional and that is how he was when he played for Chelsea and why I have so much respect for him and what he is doing there.”

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