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Mourinho takes pressure off stars

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Mourinho looks relaxed when facing media at the Nou Camp on Tuesday

BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) -- Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho is following a carefully designed strategy to take the pressure off the players ahead of Tuesday's Champions League showdown against Barcelona.

Mourinho was treated to a hostile reception by a group of Barcelona fans when he arrived at the city airport on Sunday and was spat at while on the bus.

"When I was the first to leave the airport yesterday I knew what I was doing," the Portuguese coach told a news conference at the Nou Camp on Monday.

"After I passed through, the players had no pressure and only had to sign autographs and have photos taken. It was easy for them.

"It was the same at the hotel this morning. I left first and the nasty guys followed me and they then left the players alone.

"What I will do tomorrow is go out on the pitch first and try to take the 'good' feelings of the crowd and then leave it to the players.

"They are players with some experience and they should be able to handle it, but it is a very personal thing and I can't control how they will react."

The two teams have met three times over the past two seasons and on each occasion the matches have been marked by controversy.

Chelsea got the better of Barcelona last season, winning 5-4 on aggregate after a 2-1 defeat in the first leg at the Nou Camp.

Mourinho said he was optimistic about Tuesday's game even though they trail 2-1 following the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard boost

And there was good news when Frank Lampard completed a training session on the eve of the crunch encounter.

The England midfielder had been a doubt after missing the 2-1 Premier League win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday with a hamstring injury.

But there were no signs of the problem when he trained at the Nou Camp on Monday evening.

Mourinho earlier told media the 27-year-old would start if he managed to complete the session.

"We'll have to see how he responds in the training session and if he makes it through he will play," he said.

"If he doesn't make it he won't. Apart from Lampard I know the side that will be playing."

Lampard, runner-up to Barca forward Ronaldinho in the World and European footballer of the year awards, is Chelsea's top scorer with 16 goals in all competitions.

Mourinho said he had no concerns about the referee despite his complaints about the officiating in the first match when defender Asier del Horno was sent off for a foul on Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

"They have an advantage in the scoreline and a psychological advantage in playing at home, but things can always change in football," Mourinho said.

"Before the game I always think positive. I always believe in fairness and truth. You never see me complain about a referee before a game. I believe this referee will perform well."

Mourinho added that Messi was a concern but his side could stop the teenager as long as they kept 11 men on the pitch.

"The best way to stop Messi is when you play with 11 men and then you can double mark him, one player to stay on him and the other to help out. If it is 11 against 10 then you have almost no chance of stopping him."

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