Chelsea need a point to advance but a fourth straight win, following the opening loss at home to Basle, would secure top spot in Group E ahead of the final encounter with Steaua Bucharest on December 11.
In comments reminiscent of his first spell – when Mourinho sported a crew-cut and memorably stated “I am ready for the war” – the self-proclaimed Special One stated his desire to beat Basle and then focus on eight domestic fixtures in December, seven of them in the Barclays Premier League.
“It’s a period I like,” said Mourinho, again sporting a short haircut.
“It’s a period where I think only the braves can survive because it’s hard.
“We go into the Christmas period and the accumulation of matches is so high, we don’t do it as a normal thing, we do it as a special group with a special mentality, enjoying the situation, forgetting we don’t have a Christmas (break) like the Spanish, Italian and German players. We don’t have that.
“But we have the pleasure of playing a period that’s only for the braves. I like that very, very much.
“I enjoyed it when I was in England and I missed it when I was in Spain and Italy. Now I’m back I want to enjoy it, I want the players to enjoy it, and we need a special mentality to cope with that situation.
“Nine matches and one of them is the match against Steaua. That’s our motivation for tomorrow, to try to kill the situation in the group phase and give us a little bit of space in December; instead of having nine real, competitive matches, we only have eight.”
During the international break, a time Mourinho dislikes, he borrowed Fernando Torres’ hair clippers, cut his hair himself and then sent a picture to his wife for her approval, which was forthcoming.
Asked why he cut his hair, Mourinho said: “Some people can’t do what I did. In a couple of months I’ll have hair again. Some other people cannot do it.
“I decided to do it. I asked Fernando to give me his machine and I did it myself in front of the mirror. It’s nice and cheap.”
“Mrs Mourinho, I sent a picture before I arrived at home to see if I could go in… Yes, no problem.”