MADRID (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho admits his side have two major psychological barriers to overcome when travel to Lyon on Tuesday for the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
Nine-time winners Real have fallen at the last 16 stage in each of their last six seasons and Mourinho believes that is something his team have to get over along with the fact that Lyon eliminated Real 2-1 at this stage of the competition last season.
"There are two barriers we have to overcome: getting into the quarter-finals and overcoming a Lyon team that eliminated us the last time we met," Mourinho said.
"I am not losing any sleep (over Lyon). Since the day the draw was made I have worked with my team to find out all the details about Lyon. We also have (Zinedine) Zidane who knows them well."
French legend Zidane is an advisor to Real president Florentino Perez and has been giving Real inside information on his compatriots.
Real defeated Levante 2-0 on Saturday as Mourinho stretched his unbeaten league home record with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real to an incredible nine years.
Mourinho's team have won all 12 of their league home matches but have not been as convincing away from home, dropping 12 points on the road, and have had one day's less rest than their French opponents who played on Friday.
"I liked that my team played a serious match," Mourinho said. "These games ahead of Champions League matches can be complicated because players may focus more on the European competition.
"Levante were organised in defence, but we scored early and had things under control. Winning and resting players is what mattered."
Togo forward Emmanuel Adebayor, German midfielder Mesut Ozil and Spanish playmaker Xabi Alonso were all rested against Levante.