Speaking in a press conference held on 24th January 2012, ahead of the 25 January 2012 Copa del Rey Quarter-Final second leg clash with Barcelona at Camp Nou, José Mourinho told of “many doubts” to his starting lineup as a result of injury.
Holding Copa del Rey champions, Real Madrid head to Camp Nou on Wednesday evening looking to turn around an opening leg 2-1 defeat at their home ground, Santiago Bernabau, if they are to make it through to this season’s Semi-Final.
In the press conference, Mourinho explained:
“Pepe (Kléper Laverán) is doubtful, as are Granero (Esteban Granero Molina) and Lass (Lassana Diarra). All three of them have problems, but we’ll train again tomorrow morning (Wednesday 25th) and we’ll decide then which of the three are fit to play, or not.”
“I have many doubts. There are those three players who are not 100% fit. I also had doubts right up until the last moments of the first leg, owing to the absenses from the team.”
But, despite those injury worries, Mourinho explained his side would be travelling to Barcelona looking for the win they need to progress:
“We have a chance to make it to the Semi-finals, and we’ll play to try to achieve that.”
The Real Madrid coach went on to explain why he is hopeful of success, following an impressive start to the 2011/12 campaign:
“We have a five point cushion [in La Liga] over the team that everyone says and thinks are the best in the world [Barcelona].”
Mourinho hinted at a focus that he and his backroom team have brought to the club:
“When we arrived, the club had a tradition of being eliminated from the Copa del Rey by teams from lower divisions and we won the title last season.”
“Now, we are in the Quarter-Finals, playing against the Champion of Spain, the Champion of Europe.”
He went on to explain how Real’s European progress, and their current league position, points to a closing of the gap between them and Barcelona:
“When we arrived here, Real Madrid were not even among the Top Seeds in the Champions League and we’ve just had the best run in the history of the Group Stage: six games, six wins; and are now top seeds again.”
“We’re League leaders at the moment, so it doesn’t seem to me like we have many problems.”
The 2012 Copa del Rey Quarter-Final, Barcelona v Real Madrid, kicks-off at 22:00 CET at Camp Nou, Barcelona, on the evening of Wednesday January 25th 2012.