Saturday 22 October 2016

Jose Mourinho hails squad effort for Chelsea's improved defence

Matt McGeehan

Published 13/12/2015 | 13:12

Jose Mourinho, pictured, says Diego Costa is happy at Chelsea
Jose Mourinho, pictured, says Diego Costa is happy at Chelsea

Jose Mourinho has attributed Chelsea's re-found steel to a collective willingness to defend.

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The previously robust Premier League holders have been remarkably meek in defence this season, contributing to their miserable campaign so far.

But four clean sheets in five games - against Norwich, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Tottenham and Porto - has revived Mourinho's confidence, with the Bournemouth loss last weekend considered a blip.

Mourinho, who takes his side to free-scoring Leicester on Monday night, said: "The tactical adjustments are minimal compared with the global attitude.

"I always say the same: you defend with 11 players, you have more chances to defend well. In this moment our team is working well and hard defensively, the attacking players are doing their job.

"When I say everybody has to defend, I'm not saying my striker has to defend a cross in the face of my goal. I expect my striker to put pressure on the players that are trying to make the build up. Everyone has a job to do and when everybody does their job, it's easier."

Mourinho says it is not down to specific personnel, as individuals in the starting line-up have changed in recent weeks.

"You cannot go to the faces, because the faces change and the performances are still there," Mourinho added. "We changed the goalkeeper (to Thibaut Courtois), but (Asmir) Begovic also had a clean sheet against Tottenham. You change (Cesc) Fabregas for Ramires, but with Fabregas we also had a cleansheet.

"You change (Gary) Cahill with John (Terry). With Cahill we also had cleansheets. So it's not about the faces. It's about the global attitude. Small tactical adjustments, but the attitude I think is the most important thing."

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