Old guard are training 'like animals' - Mourinho
It may fully 2,129 days since a forgettable 1-1 draw against Rosenborg ended Jose Mourinho's previous spell as Chelsea manager, but Mourinho never forgets.
While all the talk this summer has been about the new faces coming through the door at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho took time yesterday to pay tribute to his old guard of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole for their intensity in "training like animals" in the searing heat of Bangkok.
"When I see Terry, Cole, Lampard, the way they are working, it's easy for me to demand the same from the other guys," he said.
"I can say, 'Look at 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'."
Terry, Lampard and Cole have already been told that they will all start this afternoon against Singha All-Stars.
With Mourinho taking an animated part in a training session last night in front of several thousand local fans, there is certainly the sense that the old spirit and winning mentality is being restored.
Mourinho believes that he can even "smell" the progress that is being made.
"We are working very hard, and day after day the players are showing they 'want'. That's the most important thing in football. If they 'want', they can do everything.
"The group is good. The other six boys, when they come, I think they will find something good. They will find it and feel it.
"I think they will smell immediately that we are doing something."
Mourinho's satisfaction with his players also extends to his first few weeks back as Chelsea manager.
He again referred to himself yesterday as 'the happy one' and, whenever he has been seen in Thailand over these past four days, there has invariably been a big smile on his face.
The contrast with those final months at Real Madrid is obvious and Mourinho agreed yesterday when it was put to him that "his mojo" has returned.
"My wife was right," he said. "She is a person nobody knows and she doesn't talk about football.
"But she does the best she can and 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 being with the players outside the training sessions – and I'm having all of this here." (© Daily Telegraph, London)