Chelsea: Jose Mourinho awards players extra rest

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Returning Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has already won over his new squad by giving the Blues players more time off ahead of pre-season.

The playing staff were due to return to Chelsea's Cobham training ground today, the day Premier League clubs officially begin on-field preparations for next season, but Mourinho has told his team to rest until Monday July 8.

The Portuguese coach hopes the move will galvanise a squad that played 69 matches last campaign - including the FIFA Club World Cup in December and two post-season tour matches against Manchester City in the United States.

A Chelsea source told the Sunday Mirror: "Jose is the master man-manager. The players were delighted they had extra time off. In their eyes, he’s made the ­perfect start without even stepping on to a football pitch."

The Blues will now have five days' extra rest than Premier League champions Manchester United, who take to the training pitch on July 3, whilst their Brazilian and Spanish contingent receive a week off after the Confederations Cup final.

The decision also takes into consideration Chelsea's rigorous schedule of exhibition matches before their competitive programme begins in August, starting with a trip to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in two weeks' time.

Mourinho's men then cross the Atlantic once again to compete in the inaugural International Champions Cup - a lucrative eight-team stateside tournament involving the likes of Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus and Everton.

Chelsea face a packed schedule in August as they face newcomers Hull City at home, followed by United at Old Trafford and then take on Bayern Munich in the Super Cup.

So it seems Mourinho is back to his usual calculating self at Stamford Bridge - six years on from his controversial departure from the club.


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