Mourinho: "Continuity the key"


"The starting point is tomorrow. Experience says you have to be careful after a beautiful victory"

MILAN - Inter need just a point from their last two Champions League group stage fixtures, but José Mourinho wants all three against Panathinaikos tomorrow night to ensure his team qualify for the round of sixteen as winners.

"Our starting point must be tomorrow, not yesterday," said the Nerazzurri coach ahead of Wednesday's match at the Giuseppe Meazza. "We must forget about the beautiful victory against Juventus. We will have to watch ourselves against Panathinaikos because experience says that you have to be even more careful after a splendid match. It's important to be calm tomorrow and I want to transmit this tranquillity to the team. We mustn't be scared of them, but we must fear ourselves and respect an important opponent and an important game."

He added: "What worries me is the friendly atmosphere we might find tomorrow. We will be through with a draw but we can't make any mistakes. Mentality is important in the Champions League. We have to play against every team with the same concentration and intensity. They have a good coach and you can see it because they are very organised. I respect Panathinaikos but I want to win the group tomorrow and wait for the (knockout stage) draw in peace."

Mourinho used a 4-4-2 in Saturday's victory over Juventus, drawing comparisons with the tactics of his predecessor. "I won at Porto and Chelsea with 4-4-2," he explained. "It's not an invention of mine or of Roberto (Mancini). The diamond midfield might be a more recent invention, but it's not new. It's a system with various interpretations, it can be black or white. I prefer by far the 4-3-3 and I am convinced that a great team that wants to play well and win has to know how to play like this, but like I said in my first press conference here, I'm not an idiot. I know how to change and assess changes according to situations and the form of my players."

Mourinho believes the Greeks are likely to qualify for the knockout stage along with his team. "They have a better chance to qualify than Werder. If tomorrow they can leave San Siro with something in the bag, it's very good for them. I have no fears in saying we are a better team than them. The Greek championship isn't the same as the Italian one. We are two teams from two different realities, but a football game is a football game and I respect Panathinaikos."

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