IN MY LEAGUE Mourinho rubbishes Rafa’s achievements
JOSE MOURINHO has stuck the knife into Rafa Benitez by admitting he would be GUTTED if Chelsea repeated last season’s Europa League success.
Former Blues boss Benitez claimed he had overseen a successful spell at Stamford Bridge after guiding the club to third place in the Premier League and lifting Europe’s second trophy.
But Mourinho – who insists he is targeting a clean sweep of trophies after returning to Chelsea – claims lifting the second-rate silverware was a mark of FAILURE.
Chelsea dropped into the Europa League after failing to get past the group stage trying to defend their 2012 Champions League success.
And Mourinho – who won the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan – sniped: “I don’t want to win the Europa League.
“It would be a big disappointment for me. I don’t want my players to feel the Europa League is our competition.
“That’s the only European competition we have to play and that’s the European competition we have to give our best.
“Chelsea wants the second Champions League win, I want the third – and we are going to try.”
But the Portuguese is adamant his team will go all out for success in every competition they play.
He declared: “The next match is the important one. If our next match is the Champions League, the Champions League is our competition.
“And the same with the cups, because we know what the English cups mean, especially the FA.
“And we want to play every competition with this mentality – so, for us, no priorities.”
Mourinho will hand John Terry the chance to re-establish himself as Chelsea’s on-field leader.
The skipper was sidelined by Benitez for vital games during the closing weeks of last season.
But Mourinho insists the door is open for the centre-back, 32, and the rest of his old guard – including Frank Lampard, Petr Cech and Ashley Cole – to remain at the core of the side.
“I don’t care about the passport, I don’t care about the date of their birth, I just care about performance,” said Mourinho.
“If they are better than the young guys, then they play. If the young guys are better than them, they don’t play.
“But the way they are working is amazing.”
But the clock is ticking for striker Fernando Torres after Mourinho made it clear the Spaniard is running out of excuses for his dismal form since arriving from Liverpool in 2011.
Mourinho added: “I think good players in big clubs are always under this pressure.
“I can promise that Fernando will get from me that support that a striker needs to feel more confident.
“But at the end of the day it’s up to them and is their responsibility – and Fernando has to cope with that.”
I’VE WON IT: Benitez parades the Europa
League trophy LEADING ROLE: Terry