Jose Mourinho fears the gloss will vanish from this season FA Cup if the final is not played at Wembley Stadium.
The new Wembley looks increasingly unlikely to be ready in time for May 13 and the final is poised to return to Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
Chelsea are desperate to land the only domestic trophy to slip through their grasp last season – but he admits it will not be the same in Cardiff.
Mourinho said: “I think the players have a proper feeling for the FA Cup.
“It’s a beautiful competition but if it’s not at Wembley maybe it’s not the same feeling. I can say that.”
Next season’s Community Shield between the champions and FA Cup holders will be the first club game at the new Wembley if the builders miss the deadline.
Mourinho claims this means Chelsea are certain to be there because he is confident the league title is already in the bag.
He said: “If it’s not at Wembley we have one guarantee – we will play in the first game there.
“If the first game is the FA Cup final, maybe we won’t play there because we could lose in the semi-final or the quarter-final or against Colchester.
“But if the first game at Wembley is the Community Shield, then we are there for sure.”
Chelsea take on Colchester in the FA Cup fifth round at Stamford Bridge tomorrow and Mourinho warned his Chelsea stars they will lose if they defend as they did last week at Middlesbrough.
The Blues boss was furious with the 3-0 defeat at the Riverside. He admits complacency probably played a part because the club are so far clear at the top of the table.
But he told his players that anyone failing to meet his standards tomorrow can forget about playing against Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Mourinho said: “I don’t think it will happen but we know if we defend like that against Colchester we are out of the competition.
“And we know if we defend like that against Barcelona we have no chance.
“Any player who performs very badly on Sunday and shows no attitude, I don’t play him two days later. That’s obvious.”
Mourinho gave his squad a two-day break after the Middlesbrough defeat to think about what went wrong.
When they returned to the training ground on Tuesday, they sat down and analysed what had gone wrong.
Mourinho said: “After a defeat I never speak to the players. I went straight to my press conference, then to the bus without one single word.
“I don’t like to speak to players after a defeat. Two days off gives us time to relax and think.
“It gives me chance to organise my ideas and the first day in training is a day to speak about it and carry on.
“They accepted the criticism no problem. Even when we win matches we have mistakes to speak about. We have this relationship.
“Everybody must be professional and have ambition. I know it’s Colchester but it’s the FA Cup and that’s the English competition we couldn’t win.
“We want to go to the final and the next step is Colchester. I hope that is enough to motivate the players.”
Mourinho has offered the five-star treatment to lower-league clubs visiting Stamford Bridge since he took charge.
Last season he gave Scunthorpe boss Brian Laws the dossier he had prepared on his team before the game and has promised to do the same for Colchester’s highly-rated young manager Phil Parkinson.
Mourinho said: “I will give it him if he promises it’s for him and not for ebay.”