Juan Mata is not Chelsea's No.10 - Mourinho
Jose Mourinho confirms Oscar is his favoured No.10 - not Juan Mata
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Oscar will remain his favoured choice in the No.10 role, and says Juan Mata must adapt his game if he harbours a regular starting position.
Mata has established himself as one of the finest performers in the Premier League during his time with Chelsea but, since the arrival of Mourinho, has appeared to face an uncertain future.
While the Spaniard's place in Chelsea's starting XI was a guarantee under the previous management, Mata is finding himself underused by Mourinho, with Oscar preferred in his favoured position.
And, despite Mata's impressive statistics over the past two seasons for Chelsea, Mourinho says he will continue operating with Oscar - himself very impressive - as the No.10, as this system is a greater reflection of his tactical ideals.
"The way I’m reading the situation and the reasons why, in this moment, [Mata]'s not playing so much, are things I can speak about with him but not with you," Mourinho told reporters. "These are football issues."
"One thing is to play with Ramires and Oscar in the side, them closing each side, and Mata as a No 10 behind a striker, clever assists and clever passes, fantastic actions because he has great talent,” said the manager.
"Another thing is to adapt to the way we want to play. In this moment, Oscar is my No 10 and, if somebody tells me that Oscar is not Chelsea’s best player since the beginning of the season, I’d have to disagree."
When asked if Oscar and Mata could combine effectively in the same Chelsea team, Mourinho added: "They can, when he adapts to it. But I’m not ready to play Oscar following full-backs, as he was before, I want to build with Oscar as my No 10.
"I want the other two players, from the side, to adapt to that reality and learn how to do things they were not ready to do before."