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Mourinho hopes for double success to halt speculation about Chelsea future

Mourinho hopes for double success to halt speculation about Chelsea future

Jose Mourinho insists he's staying at Chelsea. If Wednesday's results go the wrong way, he might change his mind.
With Premier League action returning after a weekend of FA Cup games, Chelsea should get a better idea of whether it can catch Manchester United in the title race. The Blues also will find out which team they will face in the League Cup final.
An ideal outcome for Mourinho would be the Blues moving within three points of United in the Premier League and facing Tottenham rather than favored Arsenal in the Feb. 25 League Cup final.
By contrast, if Chelsea loses at home to reviving Blackburn on Wednesday and United beats last-place Watford at home the same night, the Red Devils will be nine points ahead with 13 matches to go.
It's also likely to be Arsenal facing Chelsea in the League Cup final. The Gunners have home advantage in Wednesday's semifinal second leg against Spurs after the two teams tied 2-2 last week at White Hart Lane.
If that happens, there will be even more speculation about Mourinho's future at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's midseason slump is partly due to the absence of injured team captain and centerback John Terry. But Mourinho is also unhappy that he has not been given money to spend during the January transfer window, which runs out on Wednesday, and has reportedly fallen out with owner Roman Abramovich.
Some reports suggest Abramovich wants to fire Mourinho after the season and replace him with a combination of Russia national coach Guus Hiddink and Barcelona's Frank Rijkaard. Inter Milan's Roberto Mancini, whose team is 11 points clear in Serie A, has also been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho has responded to the continued speculation by saying he's confident he will see out his contract until 2010.
"I am manager today and until the end of the season and I believe I will be manager until 2010," he said.
Mourinho also said he would be a tough act to follow.
"I think it is difficult to be a manager after me at any club, so I would not recommend it," he said. "I know the list (of possible replacements) is quite long _ 11 or 12 managers of Chelsea _ but even if the list becomes bigger it is no problem for me. I am cool but it is my desire to stay at Chelsea."
Mourinho could have some good news about Terry's return, which could happen on Wednesday against a Blackburn side that won 4-0 at Luton in the FA Cup on Saturday.
"He has a little chance to play against Blackburn but a big chance against Charlton (on Saturday)," Mourinho said. "But to be fair, Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Essien have been playing together (in central defense) for a long time and playing very well."
United manager Alex Ferguson can recall Cristiano Ronaldo, who was given a week off and rested for Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup victory over Portsmouth.
Ferguson also left Wayne Rooney on the bench to give him a break, but the striker came on and scored two goals, including a sensational dipping lob from 22 meters (yards) that drew comparisons with a similar goal for the Red Devils by Eric Cantona.
United faces a Watford team which is enjoying a revival. After beating Blackburn in the league, the Hornets won 1-0 at West Ham on Saturday to knock the Hammers out of the FA Cup. Adrian Boothroyd's team is still four points adrift at the foot of the Premier League standings, however, and seven away from safety.
Wednesday's other games are Bolton-Charlton and Newcastle-Aston Villa. On Tuesday, it's Portsmouth-Middlesbrough, Reading-Wigan, Sheffield United-Fulham and West Ham-Liverpool.
Spurs go to Arsenal in the League Cup knowing that the Gunners are emerging as comeback stars.
Arsene Wenger's team came from behind to beat Manchester United 2-1 in the Premier League and rebounded from 2-0 down to draw with Spurs in the first leg of the semifinal. On Sunday, the Gunners trailed Bolton at the Emirates Stadium before a diving header by defender Kolo Toure rescued a 1-1 draw and a replay.


Updated : 2021-05-14 19:15 GMT+08:00