Real Madrid will give APOEL
Nicosia the respect they deserve by fielding a strong team in
Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg at the
Bernabeu despite holding a healthy 3-0 advantage, said coach
The Cypriots have been the surprise packages, reaching the
last eight in their first appearance in Europe's premier club
competition, but they failed to register a single shot on goal
in the first leg.
"I won't make many changes," Mourinho told a news conference
on Tuesday. "It is a Champions League game.
"Few believe APOEL will score four goals here tomorrow but
in football you must show respect and to the fans as well."
Real are on the brink of a second consecutive appearance in
the semi-finals, where they will face Bayern Munich or Olympique
Marseille if they advance, and are also closing in on their
first La Liga title in four years.
The nine-times European champions hold a six-point lead over
second-placed Barcelona with eight games to play and face a
difficult match against Valencia, who are third, in La Liga on
"The players aren't tired. They want to play," said
"We have a good record in the Champions League over the last
two years with many victories, the odd draw, and only one
defeat, and we want to continue doing well."
The former Chelsea and Inter Milan coach also took a swipe
at the local media, saying his side's morale was strong despite
what he described as attempts to undermine their campaign with
"Every day you try to destabilise us," said Mourinho.
"Last week I was supposedly going to Manchester City, Iker Casillas was going to Schalke 04, Angel di María to somewhere else, Kyle Walker [of Tottenham
Hotspur] and [Liverpool's] Glen Johnson were on their way here.
"But the group is strong and we will stick together until
the end when we will all laugh or cry together."
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