Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho admits he would settle for a draw in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final at home to Tottenham.
Karim Benzema will definitely be missing from the team that welcomes Spurs to the Bernabeu on Tuesday, while Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo and Angel di Maria are all under injury clouds despite being named in Real’s 19-man squad.
The Spanish giants suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to Sporting Gijon in the La Liga on the weekend, Mourinho’s first loss as home manager in nine years.
And Mourinho said a draw would not necessarily be a bad result for his team against Tottenham.
“It has nothing to do with the absences. It (0-0) is never a bad result, especially if you don’t suffer a goal,” he said.
“But even 1-1, that is not a bad result. A draw at home is never a bad result in the Champions League.”
Mourinho said he wanted his team to maintain focus on the task and not begin thinking about how to claw back the eight-point deficit to Barcelona in the league.
“It’s a game many want to play in and not everyone can. It’s been several years since Real Madrid have played in the quarter-finals of the Champions League,” he said.
“It’s a game in the most important club competition in the world and there’s no lack of motivation.”
“It’s a match that is too nice and too important to think about other things. I give the match a 10 (out of 10) for importance.”
Mourinho also took the chance to cool speculation he was looking to purchase star Tottenham’s winger Gareth Bale.
“I was one of the first to say he will be an amazing player. I was saying that when he was not known in European football, just in England, so I know the great player he is,” Mourinho said.
“He is still young and there is a big space for him to improve so he will be a really top, top, top player. I have no doubt about that.”
“I think for the amount of money involved, it is not easy to buy and we have players for that position.”
Mourinho also paid tribute to his opposite number Harry Redknapp, who he described as his “friend”.
“When I was in England he was not managing teams with a possibility of reaching these kind of ambitions,” Mourinho said.
“Finally, after the good work he was doing, he went to Tottenham, who had the resources to build a good team. I’m very, very happy (for him).”
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