Jose Mourinho insists he is not thinking about qualification to the UEFA Champions League knockout stage ahead of Chelsea’s visit to Schalke.
A shock 2-1 loss to Basel at Stamford Bridge on the opening matchday complicated Chelsea’s qualification from Group E with Schalke winning both their group matches to date.
The English Premier League club hit back with a 4-0 win in Romania against Steaua Bucuresti and Chelsea’s manager Mourinho was adamant he will worry about ensuring qualification later in the group stage.
“I don’t think it’s time yet to have the calculator and to be counting the number of points you need to qualify or for you to be first or second or you need to go to the Europa League,” Mourinho said on Monday.
“I think the calculator comes on the fifth fixture – the third and the fourth are still fixtures we can play just thinking about the game and trying to win and if you cannot win, try to get a point.
“We lost the first match at home but we won the second match away, so we found a balance and we know now we play two matches against the strongest opponent in the group, which leaves us the fifth and the sixth fixtures to play against Basel and Steaua.
“But we are in conditions to play without thinking about finishing first or second, just thinking about tomorrow we have a game and every one we want to win and we are going to try to win.”
Chelsea captain John Terry admitted that every player knows they are playing for their place in Mourinho’s starting line-up.
“The manager was honest enough with me at the start of the season and said ‘listen, you play well and stay fit and you’ll be in the side’,” Terry said.
“I’m just concentrating on playing well, which I feel as if I’m doing at the moment but hopefully everything else takes care of itself.”
Chelsea go into the match off the back of three successive victories but so do their German opponents.