Mourinho praise for Remy
Published 05/04/2015 | 22:56
Jose Mourinho has praised Loic Remy for his decisive strikes which have taken Chelsea to the brink of a first Premier League title in five years.
The 28-year-old has had to bide his time at Chelsea, but scored the winning goal for a second successive match on Saturday in a 2-1 defeat of Stoke which saw the Blues go seven points clear with eight games remaining.
A recurrence of Diego Costa's hamstring problem means Remy, who also netted at Hull last month, could be a key figure in the closing weeks of the season and Mourinho hailed the France striker's display.
"He's a great boy and his contribution for us is already crucial with these two match-winners in the last two matches," Mourinho said.
"He trains fantastically well. He keeps himself in great condition to come to matches, even without many, many minutes to be ready for us, so I'm really pleased and everybody's pleased for him."
Remy's goal came after Asmir Begovic's poor thrown clearance was intercepted by Willian towards Eden Hazard, who set up the striker for a simple finish.
"He sprinted to score what I call an easy goal," Mourinho added.
"But I love strikers to score easy goals. The tap-in when the goalkeeper has an incomplete save, attack the ball in a low cross, rebounds - I love the easy goals from a striker. So I'm really happy with him."
Mourinho was also pleased with the contributions of Willian and Hazard, whose first-half penalty was cancelled out by Charlie Adam's 65-yard strike.
"They did everything," he said. "They both had a fantastic performance."
The Blues boss is confident his charges will finish the season well and win the trophy as the chasing pack have too much to do.
Mourinho, whose side lead second-placed Arsenal by seven points, Manchester United in third by eight and fourth-placed Manchester City by nine, added: "We believe in ourselves and we believe that the most difficult job is the job of the others that come from behind.
"They draw one game, they are in trouble. They have to win every game so it's more difficult for them than for us."
Stoke have lost three in a row, but boss Mark Hughes and his squad demand the high standards they set this season are maintained.
Hughes and Glenn Whelan had a public and frank exchange in the first half.
Hughes said: "I was exactly the same, I used to give dog's abuse to my managers so that's how it is, it's an emotional game.
"I wanted us to get on the ball and control the game and Glenn's a big part of that, so that's all it was.
"He had a viewpoint that obviously we discussed at half-time but as you saw in the second half we were a lot better.
"We've got a group that understands what we need to do if we want to be a consistent top 10 team, which is what we have ambitions to be, so that's what we have to do, we have to be brave in possession in games like this."
Adam's strike was his best goal, but the shine was taken off as it came in defeat.
The midfielder said: "I'll remember it for the rest of my career."
Asked what was the best goal of a career which took him to Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona, among others, Hughes said: "Oh I had too many. I've got a five-hour video if you want to watch it, there's loads on there."