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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Football

Mourinho deflects praise for Chelsea form onto players
AFP
Cobham, November 01, 2013
First Published: 19:00 IST(1/11/2013)
Last Updated: 19:02 IST(1/11/2013)

Jose Mourinho believes the credit for Chelsea's transformation this season should go to the club's players and not the manager.

Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel this week claimed the squad was developing a winning mentality this season following Mourinho's return to the club for a second period in charge.

The midweek League Cup victory at Arsenal was Chelsea's sixth successive victory and came on the back of last Sunday's 2-1 triumph over Manchester City that maintained Mourinho's side's position two points off the head of the Premier League table and strengthened their title claims.

Last season, the club became focused more on securing a top four finish rather than winning the championship but Mourinho insists the improvements have come from within the squad.

"I was not here to feel it last season," said the Portuguese. "I just think that you can only do things when the players are open for that.

"You can try and try but if the players are not open to your ideas, you fight and fight but at the end of the day you can't do it.

"If we are living a positive moment, I think it's up to them. I do my best to try to help but the players are working in a fantastic way."

The return to form of striker Fernando Torres has been one of the features of Chelsea's recent run.

The Spain forward capped a man of the match display against Manchester City last weekend with the winning goal, his first in the Premier League this season, after impressing in the Champions League against Schalke.

But Mourinho said: "I did nothing. I do what I always do, trying to get the best out of my players in a very normal way.

"Fernando is responsible for his self-motivation and self-commitment and the way he is working every day. I don't think Fernando is a kid that will be influenced by these wins. I want him to be stable and not be too worried about proving himself or scoring or not scoring. Just work for the team."

Mourinho, meanwhile, believes Bertrand Traore can make an early impact at the club after signing a four-and-a-half year deal this week.

The Burkina Faso midfielder - who was previously with Association Jeunes Espoirs De Bobo-Dioulasso - was prevented from joining the club on a permanent basis until his 18th birthday but featured on their pre-season tour to Asia.

And Mourinho said: "I wanted to take him in pre-season to have a look at him for 2 or 3 weeks in front of important crowds like the 60 or 70,000 we had in Asia.

"We have a kid that in our opinion is one of the best talents of his age. He was doing that in pre-season against nice opposition but he was making an impact. He has been playing in his national team since 16 and African national teams are good sides, especially Burkina Faso as they have some talented players.

"He has a stable mentality. He comes from a family of footballers - his father and brother - so it is his natural habitat. Good players have no age. He is ready to make an impact."


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