Jose Mourinho has warned Tottenham Hotspur that even five goals won't be enough to complete a miraculous escape act against Real Madrid in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg tomorrow.
Mourinho's Madrid are firm favourites to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2003 after establishing a 4-0 lead in the first leg in Spain last week. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp insists his side shouldn't be written off, but Mourinho, who won the competition last year with Inter Milan, is confident Real can make their task even harder by scoring an away goal or two at White Hart Lane.
"We have to respect the opponent, but at the same time I don't think five goals is enough for Tottenham to beat us because we are coming here to score goals," Mourinho said. "I agree completely that miracles can happen. That is why I say we have to respect Tottenham because football sometimes can betray you. You cannot give it the chance to do that."
After his successful spell in the Premier League at Chelsea, Mourinho is well aware that few English teams would give up without a fight even in Tottenham's dire situation. With that in mind, he promised to send out a full strength team despite the fact Real face a must-win league game against Barcelona on Saturday and also have several players one booking away from a European suspension.
"We are coming here to play seriously, especially because I know the mentality of English supporters and English teams. They will try everything," Mourinho said. "I will put myself in Harry's position. If we lost the first leg 4-0 here I wouldn't throw the towel in for the return. I would try everything for the miracle.
"I know some of the players find themselves in a delicate situation with yellow cards so they need to be intelligent, but I will pick the best team to get the result we need. There won't be surprises with the team selection. People like Xabi Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo, Emmanuel Adebayor and Ricardo Carvalho were on the bench on Saturday and will be in the starting eleven."
Spanish giants to battle
If, as expected, Real finish off Spurs they are likely to face Barcelona in the last four, as well as battling their bitter rivals for the La Liga title and taking them on in the Spanish Cup final. Mourinho would love to avenge his side's 5-0 loss at the Nou Camp earlier this season, but for now he refuses to look past Wednesday's game.
"It means nothing to me in this moment. I don't know how many years it is since Real played in the semi-finals of the Champions League, but we are 90 minutes from that and the job is not done yet," he said. "After the match tomorrow we will start thinking about the next game against Barcelona."
Once again Mourinho was asked if he had any plans to return to the Premier League in the near future, this time with reference to Tottenham and the possibility of succeeding Redknapp if he were to get the England job.
"Everybody knows I am Harry's friend so if he goes to manage England I would be a proud friend," Mourinho said. "In relation to my future, it is at Real Madrid. I have a contract and I think the club are happy with my work. My future will be in England for sure, but I have a contract for three more seasons at Madrid."
Real midfielder Xabi Alonso has seen Madrid crumble in Europe before as he was part of the Liverpool team that defeated the Spanish giants 4-0 in the second leg of a Champions League quarter-final in 2009.
However, Liverpool already had a first leg lead on that occasion and Alonso said: "I don't think you can make a comparison with the two sides. It is a totally different Madrid squad now. We are very aware that we still have 90 minutes to play. We must be focused because White Hart Lane is a tight ground where the crowd really get on top of you, but if we do our jobs we should be ok."