Jose Mourinho said he was forced to field Andre Schuerrle as a makeshift striker in the 3-1 Champions League quarterfinal first-leg defeat at Paris Saint-Germain due to his dissatisfaction with Fernando Torres and Demba Ba.
Chelsea, without Samuel Eto’o due to injury, began with Schuerrle in the lone striker role, but the Germany international struggled to provide a focal point for the attack as he drifted into wide areas, and he was eventually replaced by Torres on 59 minutes.
Mourinho — who has repeatedly expressed concern at his attacking options this season — has defended his decisions.
“I’m not happy with my strikers’ performances, so I have to try things,” he said. “With Andre, at least I know we have one more player to have the ball, we have one more player to associate with the other players. Even not being dangerous because he is not a striker, he can associate and the team can have control of the ball possession like we had.”
On the introduction of Torres with the score at 1-1, he added: “Football is also about scoring goals. That is for strikers, for real strikers. I had to try.
“I change with 1-1 because I thought Fernando could give us more depth than Andre. With Andre, the team had good control and possession — he was dropping deep. I thought Fernando could give us a bit more.”
Torres made little impact at the Parc des Princes and, when asked if Chelsea are falling short because they lack strikers like PSG trio Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi, he replied: “Of course.”
Mourinho was also concerned by his team’s defending after the loss. Having singled out his back four for praise after the weekend’s defeat to Crystal Palace, he said on Wednesday night that all three PSG goals had been avoidable and that Javier Pastore’s injury-time strike was “ridiculous.”
However, he feels the strikers and doing little to take the pressure off.
“It’s difficult for us to score goals,” he said. “Especially when the games are tight. It’s difficult for us to transform the half-chances into chances and when you make the defensive mistake you are in trouble.”
Mourinho insisted recovery at Stamford Bridge next week was “not impossible” — the Blues would progress to the semifinals with a 2-0 win — but added: “We are not a team full of talent to score goals, especially at this level, but you never know. We have to try. We have to go with everything. Let’s try.”