Blues’ boss Jose Mourinho has said he thinks his players have finally began to grasp his ideas and mentality following their come-back win over a confident Southampton side at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Chelsea made the worst possible start to the match, with Michael Essien’s poor back pass putting it on a plate for England forward Jay Rodriguez to score after just 13 seconds, but they did manage to regroup and score three second-half goals to run out eventual 3-1 winners.
Mourinho has overseen a topsy-turvy start to his second spell at the helm for Chelsea. His side’s indifferent form was again on display whenChelsea followed up a 2-0 reverse at Newcastle with a last-gasp (and lucky) 2-2 draw at home to West Brom; and while Frank Lampard then starred in a comprehensive 3-0 derby win at West Ham, they then slumped to an away defeat at Basel in the Champions’ League before Sunday’s win over this season’s surprise package Southampton.
He however took courage from Sunday’s win, which lifted them to second and within four points of leaders Arsenal, saying his players are perhaps starting to: “feel the responsibility of playing for Chelsea.”
“It’s the sign of a team that is going step by step, that understands my ideas and understands my mentality,” the Special One told press after the match.
“Some of them, the ones that are not completely in my mentality and my philosophy, are adapting progressively. They must feel the responsibility of playing for Chelsea; that Chelsea cannot be in December, like it happened in a few seasons, completely out of the title race.”
Could the manager perhaps have been making reference to some of his maligned players, the likes of Juan Mata who acquitted himself well yesterday with two assists, and Demba Ba who scored the third goal?
He did not say, but he did take some credit for Sunday’s turnaround, saying his decision to play both Fernando Torres and Demba Ba up front in the second half caught the Saints by surprise.
“We changed to 4-4-2 and I think we gave Southampton a different game, a game they didn’t expect.”
Chelsea will look to maintain the pressure on log leaders Arsenal when they travel to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland on Wednesday.
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