Chelsea star needs time, says Mourinho

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has pleaded with people to give new signing Samuel Eto'o time to adapt to life in the Premier League.

32-year-old Eto'o arrived at Stamford Bridge from troubled Russian top-flight outfit Anzhi Makhachkala during the summer but has so far struggled to impose himself in England and is yet to find the net in a Blues shirt.

Eto'o failed to make much of an impact during starts against Everton and local rivals Fulham, while the veteran Cameroonian was an unused substitute after losing his place to Fernando Torres for the derby against Andre Villas-Boas' Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

But with the rejuvenated Spaniard set to miss up to three weeks with a knee injury sustained in Tuesday night's emphatic victory against Romanian champions Steaua Bucharest, Eto'o looks set to fill the void once again for this weekend's trip to Norwich.

Despite the criticism that has been aimed at the stuttering Eto'o after an unconvincing start, Mourinho believes the 32-year-old simply needs to be given time.

''When we signed Samuel I said that I know the player, I know the professional. But what happened in Russia in last two and a half years I didn't know," the Portuguese was quoted by the Daily Mirror.

''Normally when a top player goes to Russia, to Anzhi, the pressure goes down, the motivation and physical condition and sharpness goes down. Now he's back in top European football and needs a bit of time to find that sharpness.

''He's playing a lot. He played 80 minutes this week and he is getting his form and an understanding of where he is. Even for a player like Samuel, the Premier League is a different picture. So give him a little bit of time," he added.

Chelsea, who currently lie fifth in the Premier League table after a somewhat unconvincing start to Mourinho's second stint in charge in West London, travel to Carrow Road on Sunday to face Chris Hughton's Canaries.

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