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Juan Mata and Rafael Benitez focused on Basel

Updated: Thursday, 02 May 2013 20:07 | Comments

Juan Mata and Rafael Benitez have deflected talk over Jose Mourinho's possible return to Stamford Bridge
Juan Mata and Rafael Benitez have deflected talk over Jose Mourinho's possible return to Stamford Bridge

Juan Mata and Rafael Benitez preferred to focus on Chelsea's immediate future - tonight's Europa League semi-final second leg with Basel - rather than be concerned by the possibility of Jose Mourinho returning to Stamford Bridge.

Both the Chelsea playmaker and interim manager declined to comment to direct questions on the prospect the self-titled 'Special One' being installed as Blues boss for a second time after the Portuguese's come-and-get-me plea following Real Madrid's Champions League exit on Tuesday night.

"It's not my business," Benitez said. "I have to concentrate on this game. That's it. I think it's quite important."

Mata added: "We just have to be focused about what we're playing for, which is a very important trophy for the club, to be third in the league and try to play in the Champions League."

Towards the end of his second season at Chelsea, Mata has already experienced three managers.

"As a professional you have to be able to do it," he said.

"You have to train, you have to perform, you have to win, no matter who the manager is.

"Chelsea is a club which always was - and is - at the top level.

"It's true since I came I had three managers. I really enjoyed myself with all of them and now we're with Rafa and we have the chance to win another trophy with him."

"I have to concentrate on this game. That's it. I think it's quite important" - Rafael Benitez

The immediate priority is ensuring Chelsea advance to the 15 May Europa League final in Amsterdam, with Mata warning against complacency.

David Luiz's stoppage-time free-kick in Switzerland last week earned Chelsea - last season's Champions League winners - a 2-1 first-leg advantage.

"It's going to be a dangerous game," he said.

Luiz is among those who could play despite the fact if he receives a yellow card he would be suspended and miss the final.

Ashley Cole is banned, while his fellow left-back Ryan Bertrand and midfielders John Obi Mikel and Ramires, who came off midway through the first half of Sunday's win over Swansea with a dead leg, are also on yellow cards.

Chelsea's task is complicated by the need to qualify for next season's Champions League through the Barclays Premier League.

The Blues sit third ahead of Sunday's match at champions Manchester United and next week's crucial London derby with Tottenham.

Mata said: "If we play like we've been playing, all together, I think we can do both."

Next season, Mata wants Chelsea to challenge for further honours.

"I really would like to win the Premier League," he said.

"After winning the Champions League and the FA Cup I would like to win this amazing trophy."

Basel have recorded numerous upsets en route to their first European semi-final and are targeting another.

Boss Murat Yakin said: "We will be brave, we'll play with confidence and who knows? Maybe we can achieve a small wonder and we can qualify for the final."

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