Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mourinho's Exit Has Hit Euro Hopes, Says Drogba; Special Effort: Drogba Says Chelsea Used to Dig Deep for Mourinho (Left)

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mourinho's Exit Has Hit Euro Hopes, Says Drogba; Special Effort: Drogba Says Chelsea Used to Dig Deep for Mourinho (Left)

Article excerpt

Byline: STEVE CORDING

DIDIER DROGBA has warned Chelsea that sacking Jose Mourinho has puttheir Champions League qualification from Group B in jeopardy.

Chelsea drew their first match in the competition - a game they were expectedto win - 1-1 with Norwegians Rosenborg and Mourinho left the club the followingday.

Drogba claimed to be giving "200 per cent" in training in order to overcome theknee injury that has restricted him to only five games this season and be readyto face Valencia on Wednesday.

But he fears that the clinical manner in which Mourinho was shown the door mayrip to shreds the motivation he and his team-mates used in reaching twoChampions League semi-finals under the 'Special One'.

Speaking for the first time since Mourinho left Stamford Bridge, Drogba said:"Our 1-1 home draw with Rosenborg has really put us under the cosh and the wayto redress that is to go to Spain and impose ourselves on Valencia.

A performance and a result like that demands a certain kind of spirit, aparticular mentality and total unity within the group.

"The majority of us within the squad used to dig deep and do it for the coach[Mourinho] in situations like this.

"It's this, specifically, that we have to forget and strive to now find anotherkind of motivation.

"That's something we need to discover in order to, just for example, make it asfar as the last 16 of this competition which, at the start of the season I mademy No1 target to win." Mourinho's exit stunned fans and a report today claimedhis sudden departure was sparked by a chance meeting with Roman Abramovich in acorridor at Stamford Bridge following Chelsea's draw with Rosenborg.

The club's owner is said to have told Mourinho he was unhappy with theperformance, to which the manager is said to have replied: "If you are nothappy with me, then just sack me. …

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