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Saturday 30 August 2014

Mourinho pleased by early progress

Published 16/07/2013 | 23:17

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Jose Mourinho - it is now 'Rooney or bust' for him

Jose Mourinho believes he is building something special at Chelsea just a week after beginning work with his players at the start of his second spell as Blues boss.

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The Portuguese returned to Stamford Bridge last month and will take charge of Chelsea for the first time in nearly six years in Wednesday's pre-season friendly with Singha All-Stars at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium.

Only those involved in the Confederations Cup - David Luiz, Oscar, Juan Mata, Fernando Torres, Cesar Azpilicueta and John Obi Mikel - are still to join up with Mourinho's Chelsea after goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer flew in from London.

"The group is good," said Mourinho, who led Chelsea to back-to-back Barclays Premier League titles in his first spell from June 2004 to September 2007.

"And the other six guys, when they come, I think they will find something good.

"When they come I think they will smell it immediately that we are building something and it will be easy for them to come in."

Mourinho insisted those players remaining from his first spell - Petr Cech, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, among them - receive no favouritism, but merely set an example to the new talent in the Blues squad.

"It's normal after one week that I don't see any more 'the old' and 'the new' because we are getting into the dynamics of the squad," Mourinho said.

"The good thing with my previous players is that what I see makes me very happy - I don't see them any different to before.

"And when I see Terry, Cole, Lampard, the way they are working at (age) 32, 32, 35, it's easy for me to control the group and it's easy for me to demand the same from the other guys.

"I can say 'Look that them: they don't miss one minute; they are training like animals; they compete. So you, who are 18, 19, 21, don't tell me you can't do it'.

"It's fantastic. I'm very happy. They know me. They know that I'm not going to make their lives easy.

"From the first day they never questioned that situation and worked hard. It's good for me because they are ready, all of them."

Mourinho expressed dissatisfaction with the transfer window - he believes it should close before competition commences - but hopes to keep his squad together.

"We are very much on board and connected, me and the board and the owner (Roman Abramovich) - we are very much connected," he said.

"We don't need to sell players; we are happy with the group we have. If something happens it will happen naturally but we are in a position where we are not worried."

Mourinho says his morale is vastly improved since leaving Real Madrid - his spell at the Bernabeu ended acrimoniously - for west London.

"My wife was right," he said.

"She told me a few times in Madrid that I needed to be happy to be able to give my best. I needed to be happy to be motivated, to spend my time organising training sessions and enjoying the sessions, to enjoy to be with the players outside the training sessions - and I'm having all of this here."

He is enjoying the pre-season tour as an opportunity to bond with his players.

"The players need to know me, I need to know them," he said.

"It's fantastic for all of us to have the chance to get to know each other well. Even for the boys that know me, and the boys I know, it's good for them, because we've not seen each other for years."

Mourinho, who has named two sides for each half of the friendly, plans to play 4-2-3-1 and admits he has an embarrassment of playmaking riches.

"The basic structure will be four at the back, three midfielders and three attackers," he said.

"And in my teams, the attackers are attackers. With me, it's not 4-5-1 it is 4-3-3, so my wingers will be attacking players.

"The competition is hard. We will have (Andre) Schurrle, (Kevin) de Bruyne, Mata, Oscar, (Eden) Hazard and Victor Moses for these three positions and so we have many more options than Chelsea had in the last year and these are crucial positions for me.

"I like these players to play with high intensity so to have five players for three positions is, I think, brilliant for me, it's fantastic."

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