Mourinho: Staying Alert

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Jose Mourinho believes the experience acquired from playing against other Championship sides this season will serve his side well when we take on Watford in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.

The Blues have already overcome tricky tests against both Bolton Wanderers and Derby County in the Capital One Cup, and now face a Watford side, managed by Slavisa Jokanovic, who have won four out of their last five league matches.

‘It’s a difficult game,’ said Mourinho. ‘It’s a good team, one of the best teams in the Championship.

‘We have the experience of the difficulties against teams like Bolton, Derby, teams that we played already this season.

‘They have a good team. They are fresh. They didn’t play the New Year fixture.

‘They will have big support from their crowd. They will go to try to beat us, so we need to be alert because the game is going to be difficult.

‘It’s impossible to go for one trophy, or two, or three, or four. It’s only possible to go for the next match, and the next match is the FA Cup and we want to try to win the FA Cup, simple as that.’

Having come through a period of four Premier League matches in the space of 11 days, Mourinho is expected to make changes to the side for the visit of the Hornets.

‘It’s the next match,’ he said. ‘It’s the most important match for us. We face the FA Cup to win. Obviously we are going to rest a couple of players, that’s normal, and give a chance to other people to play and to show [what they can do].’

The Blues go into tomorrow’s game looking to bounce back from Thursday’s defeat at Tottenham, but one of the most positive aspects to come out of a disappointing early evening in north London was the performance of Ramires, after he was introduced as a half-time substitute.

‘Hopefully Ramires is getting there step by step,’ said the Blues boss. ‘Against Tottenham he played 45 minutes. He’s a player we need and he’s a player we haven’t had for the first part of the season. When we had him he was not really ready and finally he looks like he’s almost getting there.’

There is a question mark over whether Thibaut Courtois will be available for selection after the Belgian picked up an injury at White Hart Lane.

‘He has a problem in one of his fingers,’ Mourinho said immediately after the game. ‘Let’s see what happens. I didn’t ask if it’s broken. I just asked if he could carry on at half-time.’