André Schürrle has claimed "everybody" at Chelsea believes they can win a Champions League and Premier League double, this season and critics of José Mourinho's tactics are simply jealous of his success.
Chelsea are two points behind the league leaders, Liverpool, following Sunday's 2-0 win at Anfield and take a goalless draw into the Champions League semi-final second leg against Atlético Madrid at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho, true to form, rubbished Chelsea's Premier League title prospects in the aftermath of their Liverpool victory but Schürrle suggested an opposing view is held inside the club's Cobham training ground. The Germany international also believes the confidence gained from Anfield will serve as ideal preparation for Wednesday's contest against the Spanish league leaders.
"Everybody thinks we can win the league and the Champions League," said Schürrle, who typified Chelsea's tireless display at Liverpool. "We know it will be tough but we have to believe and we do. Of course it will be hard for us from here. We have to do everything in our power to win the two games we've got left and hope Liverpool and Manchester City both give us something. But we're still in it."
Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, led criticism of Chelsea's defensive performance and time-wasting tactics at Anfield, claiming he would never adopt the methods of his friend and former mentor Mourinho. Schürrle, however, insisted success takes priority over style in football and believes the condemnation that followed Chelsea out of Anfield was fuelled by envy.
"Winning is what matters. It's the most important thing," the 23-year-old said. "You can play perfect football, have lots of one-touch stuff, and you lose. But that's not what you want – you want to win. There's no point in playing well and losing. If our plan is to win playing this way, and we win, then it is perfect. If people look at us and say 'Chelsea can't play', even when we win, it's just because they're jealous.
"I've learned so much from Mourinho and love being in his team and learning new roles. When I was in Germany I never played like this, so defensive – almost a left-back, but that is good for me because defensive work was something I missed in Germany. He said we needed to be perfect defensively and that is what I tried. We need to show we could be in a fight, a battle, and win it. If that means we have to be willing to do something that takes a yellow card, then we have to be ready to do that for each other and I'm happy to do that.
"I think I'm quite a clever player and that I realise there are times when I can be offensive but others when I must be more compact and work for the team, because that is what matters. You've got to have both elements in your game. We can make both types of game. We showed against Arsenal that, when we need to, we can make the game and score goals. We know we can do that and we hope to give Atlético those sort of problems on Wednesday if they come and just try to defend."
Rodgers accused Mourinho of parking two buses at Anfield and Atlético were also unable to find a way through Chelsea at Vicente Calderón last week. But Schürrle admits a more offensive display may be required from Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to secure a second Champions League final appearance in three years.
He said: "We need to have a balance in our play, especially because we are at home. We need to win the game. Yes, if it's 0-0, it's extra-time and penalties, but if it's 1-1 or any other draw we're out, so we need to win. That means having the right balance, compact defensively but very good when we get the ball.
"Against Liverpool it was brilliant, a perfect game. We did exactly what we needed to do and what we were told to do. We wanted to win but we knew we needed to play with a compact defence and that then we'd have a few little chances to score, which is exactly what happened. The way it went meant that we had so many chances to play on the counter-attack. Sometimes you need a little bit of luck to take those chances but we did in the end and it was a perfect result for us.
"It came at the right time for us as well. The group knows how important it is for us to beat Atlético and that we had to win against Liverpool. But to do it just as we wanted was the perfect way to give us confidence to give our best at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, which is what matters."