Speaking ahead of his team’s UEFA Champions League Group E clash at FC Basel, Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho noted that his players are entering a crucial period of the season where “only the brave can survive.” A win at St Jakob Park would allow the Mourinho to rest his starters for the final Group E game against Steaua Bucharest on Dec. 11, which would be a welcome breather considering the Blues have a whopping nine games in all competitions scheduled for next month.
"This is a period I like, a period where the squad can play a role, not just the team," the Portuguese tactician said. "It's a period where I think only the brave can survive because it's so hard. We go into the Christmas period and the accumulation of matches is so high. We don't do it as a normal thing … we do it as a special group with a special mentality, enjoying the situation and forgetting we don't have a Christmas like the Spanish, Italian and German players. But we have the pleasure of playing a period that's only for the brave.”
He added: "Nine matches, and one of them is the match against Steaua. Finish the job against Basel and we would ensure that, instead of having nine competitive matches, we only have eight. That would be important. That's our motivation, to kill the situation in the group stage and give us a bit of space in December."