Jose Mourinho gave Chelsea players eight days off during international break

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Chelsea players not called up by their respective countries during the international break were given an extended period of recovery by manager Jose Mourinho in preparation for the gruelling Christmas fixture list.

According to the Daily Mirror, the Portuguese tactician ordered senior first-team stars like John Terry and Didier Drogba to take as many as eight days off to unwind from the pressure of their Premier League title challenge.

The Blues have made a scintillating start to 2014/15, and currently sit four points clear at the top of the table. They've also made an impressive start to their Champions League campaign, in addition to booking a place in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.

Entry into the third round of the FA Cup at the turn of the year means that Chelsea will still be fighting on four different fronts at the start of 2015, as the games come thick and fast heading into 2015.

Mourinho's methods - although simple - are very clever, because while other managers continued to call their remaining players in to training despite the lack of domestic matches, the Stamford Bridge stars were away recharging their batteries on a mini mid-season break.

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The players were free to depart straight after their victory over Liverpool at Anfield on November 8, and not expected to return until the start of this week, in preparation for this Saturday's home clash against West Bromwich Albion.

Some took the opportunity for a short holiday abroad, which can only be a good thing for their mental and physical conditioning ahead of a frantic month which sees Chelsea play eight games in the space of 24 days.

Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa - two players not called up by Spain due to injuries - were monitored a little more closely by club medics, but were still given some time off to recuperate.

The Chelsea manager has even taken special measures for his international players, ensuring they have staggered returns to training with each individual having personal recovery plans to give them the best possible chance of being in peak condition by the weekend.

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Jose Mourinho
Premier League

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