Mourinho happy to lead Chelsea’s new era
Opening with a win, the Blues manager identifies the combination of youth and experience as the recipe for sustained success at the club
Agence France-Presse in London
Jose Mourinho believes Chelsea are now ready to move on into a new era after the divisions that split the club last season.
Mourinho took charge of his first game since returning to the club, steering his side to a 2-0 home victory over Hull City on the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign.
The Portuguese was greeted to a rousing reception from Blues supporters, in marked contrast to the hostility directed to his predecessor, Rafael Benitez, last season.
Benitez never won over those fans unable to forgive his Liverpool connections.
But on the day Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich marked his 10-year association with the Stamford Bridge club, Mourinho said: “You can see what Chelsea did in the last 10 years, so I think it’s better to focus on that than on some negative moments we had in the recent history.
“I think it’s great, especially for the players, to feel the atmosphere around. It’s my fourth season I’ve started with Chelsea.
“We had Mr Abramovich in the dressing room with us for the first time in those years before the match, which means a lot to everyone – wishing everyone the best, the medical department, the players not selected, so to have Mr Abramovich coming from his holiday to be with the team meant a lot to all of us.
“We are together and know where we want to go. We know the profile of the squad we have.
“When you see (Kevin) De Bruyne, Oscar and (Eden) Hazard as kids, (Andre) Schurrle another one, (Marco) Van Ginkel another ... kids who need stability, and we want to give them conditions to do well.
“We need to win matches. We can try to make this progression at the same time, get results and support the boys.”
Oscar and Frank Lampard scored the first half goals that secured victory and Mourinho believes the balance of youth and experience in his squad will boost Chelsea’s title bid.
“I’m very happy to work with this squad. After a difficult pre-season, I’m happy we managed to win and managed to show that this is the football we want to play, the football we can play,” said Mourinho.
“Now it’s up to us to make it happen more times.”
The Portuguese is still hoping to add Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney to that group of players.
“We will try till the last day to add a new player to the squad. A striker,” he said.
“But in this moment every striker has a club. Every striker belongs to somebody. And I don’t think it’s ethical I name players who belong to other clubs.
“If we have to make a bid, we make it in an official way. We don’t speak to players, but to clubs. We don’t try to influence players to behave in a certain way, as other clubs do.
“We behave in the correct manner and we’ll try for that until the last day of the transfer window.”
Hull manager Steve Bruce was impressed by the contribution of Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore who both appeared as second half substitutes after joining the promoted club from Tottenham last week.
“We’ve only had them 48 hours, really. We’ve been trying to work on a system to play against Chelsea for two or three weeks,” said Bruce.
“You also have to be kind to the boys who got you here on those rainy nights in Barnsley last season. It was important they were rewarded too.
“But the two boys from Tottenham will make a huge difference to us, and we won’t be playing Chelsea every week.
“We all know how difficult it’s been. The so-called smaller teams have even invested a lot of money – Southampton, Swansea and Norwich investing large sums of money, teams we’ll be up against.
“We know how difficult it’ll be, but let’s make a fist of it.”