Mourinho keen to build Chelsea core

Published: Friday 5th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Jose Mourinho has revealed Chelsea could develop a first-choice starting line-up in their bid to create an “automatic dynamic” at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho has previously rejected suggestions he has a favoured starting XI, but now concedes settled selection is the smartest route to rebuilding Chelsea’s style.

Chelsea manager Mourinho’s Premier League selections have indicated a clear first-choice spine to his side, with seven Stamford Bridge men starting all 14 league matches this term.

The former Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss said he is unfazed by settled selection, provided his squad players are still battling for opportunities.

“If the results are absolute it’s because the players are performing; if the players are performing they deserve to be in the team,” said Mourinho, ahead of Saturday’s league trip to Newcastle.

“If the results are there and the performance is too there are no reasons to change the team.

“And when you want to build a team playing in a certain way with a certain kind of authoritativeness, the best way is to try to keep most of the players and make that dynamic something automatic.

“I think we have to try (for a first-choice XI): but to have a big squad, with big players and big numbers, obviously, is better.”

Mourinho further underscored Chelsea’s settled squad by declaring “I don’t want (loan) players to come back and I don’t want players to leave” in January’s transfer window.

Midfielder Nemanja Matic will miss Chelsea’s Newcastle trip to suspension, cutting the Blues’ ever-present league starters down to a maximum of six.

Thibaut Courtois, Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill and John Terry have formed a rock-solid defensive unit in starting every Premier League game this term, with playmakers Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard also among Mourinho’s most trusted lieutenants.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Oscar have both started 12 of the 14 league games this term as Chelsea have claimed a six-point lead at the Premier League’s summit.

Mourinho said Matic’s enforced break will double as an opportunity for the Serbia midfielder to refresh himself and prepare for the hectic festive fixture glut ahead.

“I keep saying that I think it’s very, very difficult for a player to play every game in December,” said Mourinho.

“So if we have eight matches, I would say the maximum a player can play is seven.

“If you break one, if you break one game, and one player has a free weekend for example, obviously he is ready to play again three or four more matches in a row.”

Mourinho backed John Obi Mikel to thrive at Newcastle if he slots in to replace Matic, with Ramires also itching for a start.

“He’s good; every time he plays he plays well,” said Mourinho of Mikel.

“Mikel is ready, Ramires is ready, so no problem.

“When you have Matic playing the way he’s playing, there are no reasons to change, and Mikel has to know that, and he knows that.

“But he played already, not from the start but he played lots of periods, and in important matches and crucial periods of matches.

“Every time he comes in, he’s a very experienced player, very mature, so no problems.”

Published: Friday 5th December 2014 by The News Editor

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