Mourinho made me hit the gym, says Chelsea's new star

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Chelsea's hat-trick hero Andre Schurrle has credited Jose Mourinho's gym advice for his recent improvement in form.

The Germany international bagged three goals during Chelsea's 3-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday in his first Premier League start since his New Years' Day appearance against Southampton.

The former-Bayer Leverkusen star has taken his time settling into life at Stamford Bridge, but he believes Mourinho's advice to hit the gym upon arrival at Chelsea has stood him in good stead.

"We talked a lot, of course," Schurrle said. "He told me I needed to change, to change my game and my body, and that is what I have done over the last two months.

"I have really worked very hard to be aggressive, to be in a good shape with my body. Now I'm ready to play more often.

"I did a lot in the gym, but I wanted to do this, I needed to do this. The manager told me it as well, I wanted to change and I think I have."

The Blues extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to four points at the weekend after Arsenal dropped points to Stoke City.

And while Schurrle was clinical in front of goal on Saturday, Mourinho has insisted that the Germany star is not a striker. He is typically deployed in a wide role in Chelsea's attacking midfield trio.

That leaves the door open for Chelsea to sign a striker in the summer, with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o struggling for goals so far this term.

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