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Mourinho: Mallorca won´t be pushovers

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho expects Mallorca to provide stern opposition as they look to continue their climb up the table on Sunday.

Mourinho will be returning to the ground where he took charge of Real for the first time in 2010.

“For me it is like any other stadium (Mallorca’s),” he said. “I had my debut as Real Madrid manager there but, for me, it feels like any other venue.

“It’s always difficult to play there. I remember drawing or only scraping narrow victories there, so I think the match will be difficult tomorrow.”

After a difficult start, Real have found form and Mourinho may call on Michael Essien and Luka Modric’s services as he bids to stretch their unbeaten league run to five matches.

“(Michael) Essien may play in midfield. Tomorrow on the left we’ll use (Gonzalo) Higuain,” the Portuguese tactician said.

“He is fast, strong, provides good crosses with his left foot, and so Higuain will start on the left tomorrow.

“He (Luka Modric) is adapting to the team. I think he is doing better and better. He may play tomorrow or maybe not, but I’m happy with his progress. He is relaxed, works hard, and gives himself time to develop.”

Despite enjoying a resurgence in La Liga, Real suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League midweek but Mourinho isn’t worried with three fixtures still remaining in Group D.

“Last year we won every match at the group stage and we didn’t win the UEFA Champions League title,” Mourinho said.

“It didn’t matter that we achieved maximum points, the season before it happened in the same way. The aim is to progress in a very difficult group.

“If we go through I’ll be happy, if we do it as group winners then I’ll be happier but I’m not worried whatsoever about that loss to Dortmund.”

The dual Champions League-winning coach also refused to comment on the news that goalkeeper Iker Casillas will vote for Vicente Del Bosque to win the Ballon D’or Coach of the Year Award ahead of Mourinho.

“What do I have to do with that? Why is it my business in terms of what he decides to vote? Tell me what I have to do with that decision?”

Sun 28 October, 2012
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