Jose Mourinho chose to keep his own counsel on his strikers after the 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw with Galatasaray.
The Chelsea boss was caught on camera offering a critical apprasial of his current striking options during the week in what he believed was a private conversation – an incident that generated plenty of headlines in the build-up to Wednesday’s last-16 first-leg clash in Istanbul.
He saw Fernando Torres open the scoring at the Turk Telecom Arena in his first start since January 11 before the visitors’ attacking momentum was halted following a tactical switch from Galatasaray coach Roberto Mancini after the break.
Torres’ fellow forward Samuel Eto’o struggled to make an impact from the bench, with Gala levelling through Aurelien Chedjou after 64 minutes.
But despite seeing Chelsea stifled well by Galatasaray for much of the game after their opener, Mourinho was satisfied with their efforts as they claimed an away goal to take into the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
“We were playing not just against a big club but a big club with big players,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.
“The first half we had chances to kill game, I am not criticising our strikers but they had chances to do the second goal, and that would have changed the game.
“I think my two more dangerous players, Fernando (Torres) and (Andre) Schurrle were both in trouble in the second half but we were comfortable, until we conceded at the corner.
“I can’t complain… the performance of the players in a difficult place to play was amazing.
“I just ask (the Chelsea fans) for 10 per cent of what this stadium gave Galatasaray when we play in three weeks.”
Midfielder Frank Lampard also paid tribute to the Gala fans and expressed his belief that former Stamford Bridge striker Didier Drogba will again prove to be a threat in the return leg on March 18.
“I thought we played very well in the first half, we controlled it,” he said.
“When it’s 1-0, with the atmosphere, you know they can always get a bit of an up.
“Fair play to their fans, they were amazing.
“You expect them to have a period and they had a big period in the second half. It’s one of those results, we’re kind of happy with it but we’ve got work to do.
“We know what (Drogba’s) like, it was a great battle between him and John (Terry) and Gary (Cahill). We’ll have to watch him back at (Stamford) Bridge.”