Jose: I don't like dropping my Cup heroes
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho admits dropping his midweek cup heroes will leave a bad taste in his mouth.
The Blues illustrated the strength of their squad when Mourinho made 10 changes for Tuesday night's 2-0 League Cup victory at Arsenal.
But the majority of that team, including goalscorers Cesar Azpilicueta and Juan Mata, know they could find themselves kicking their heels when Mourinho takes Chelsea to Newcastle for today's lunchtime kick-off in the Premier League. "I don't say it's a headache, I say a bad feeling," said the Stamford Bridge boss.
"It's not easy to leave some players at home or on the bench because I think everyone deserves to play.
"For me the responsibility of saying 'you don't play' is very hard because I feel I am being unfair with the ones I'm not selecting, because they are doing all they can to play and they can't do any more.
"When they come in they give everything, when they have a chance to play they play well."
Chelsea can go top of the table, for a few hours at least, with a victory over the Magpies but despite heading to Tyneside on the back of a six-game winning run, Mourinho knows how tough a task they face – he has yet to win in the league at St James' Park.
"We know we have one of our most difficult matches of the season but we will try," he added.
"Going top is not important. It's important to go in the right direction and we feel we are improving – the quality of our game is good, the results at the moment are fantastic."
This week Chelsea agreed the signing of 18-year-old midfielder Bertrand Traore, who has impressed while on trial with the club.
Blues fans will not get a chance to see the Burkina Faso international in action until January, when his work permit comes through.
"Traore is a great talent that the club followed for a long time before me," he said. "We have a kid who in our opinion is one of the best talents of his age."
Mourinho has a fully-fit squad available for today's game apart from long-term absentee Marco van Ginkel.