Saturday 20 January 2018

Mourinho 'happy' with what he's got as boss commits to Chelsea for four more years

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during the press conference
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during the press conference
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho does not know whether Diego Costa will be fit when the Barclays Premier League champions begin their title defence at home to Swansea on Saturday

Chelsea begin their Barclays Premier League title defence on Saturday with Jose Mourinho committed for four more years and aware of the dangers of standing still.

Chelsea have made two signings - goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and striker Radamel Falcao, who signed on loan from Monaco despite a poor spell at Manchester United - ahead of the season-opener with Swansea, while their title rivals have spent more freely.

Mourinho, though, is adamant improvement is possible without making numerous new signings after himself penning a four-year contract, tying him to Stamford Bridge until June 2019.

"If you stand still you get worse. It's right. It's dangerous," said Mourinho, whose contract extension was announced on Friday night.

"But the same people can move forward. You don't need to buy 10 players to be a better team.

"You can be a better team with one or two new players. You can be a better team with the same people."

Chelsea are bidding to be the first team since Manchester United in 2008/09 to win back-to-back Premier League titles, a feat Mourinho achieved during his first spell in 2004/05 and 2005/06.

Providing Diego Costa is fit - and that is by no means certain - Mourinho could start the season with the same first-choice XI which he deployed last term in Chelsea's dominant title triumph.

The continuity will have benefits in both the performance on the field and in the players' mentality, says Mourinho, who wants a return from his squad.

He added: "They deserve our confidence, but I think now is our time to deserve a compensation of that and for the players to give us everything they have and to keep the level of ambition and motivation."

While insisting he will not be distracted by the transfer market, Chelsea are still in need of reinforcement, particularly in defence, where Mourinho has just five first-team players.

Mourinho on Friday made a veiled criticism of Roberto Martinez for the Everton manager's outspoken rebuke of Chelsea for their pursuit of John Stones.

Martinez was unhappy with John Terry's comments in praise of Toffees defender Stones.

Chelsea have so far tried and failed to prise Stones from Everton.

"I'm not speaking about Everton or Stones. I'm just speaking in general," Mourinho added.

"If I could, I would speak with you (the media) once in a month.

"And there are other people in football who, if they could, they would have a press conference every day. And I don't want to say anything else."

Mourinho is keen for defensive recruitment, but insists he has no need to purchase another striker despite the uncertainty over Costa's fitness due to his recurring hamstring problems.

"Three is the perfect number and we have three," said Mourinho, who is prepared to field Loic Remy or Falcao against the Swans.

Put to him he has only two-and-a-half strikers due to the uncertainty surrounding Costa, Mourinho said: "The half when he plays is one and a half, so (that) compensates, because he's a fantastic player.

"I cannot say I don't need him. He's such an important player for us."

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