Chelsea back in winning ways, Mourinho justifies his choices
Mourinho reacts after the performance:
‘It was not a brilliant performance, but it was solid performance.
‘In football you are brilliant when the confidence levels are very high and the players are able to put all their qualities on the pitch. When the confidence is a bit low, the results are not good and they feel the pressure of the moment, the quality goes down a little bit, and you have to bring other kinds of ingredients to the game. They did it in an amazing way.
‘Defensively [we had] great discipline and great effort, and there was great balance in the team. They had a couple of moments in the first half but apart from that everything was under control.
‘That is what we need because at the moment it’s difficult to be brilliant. I would never expect to come from a bad period direct into a brilliant game. I was expecting this kind of answer, the answer was there and the result is the most important thing at the moment.’
‘I left Hazard out because we are conceding lots of goals. We need to defend better. We need our midfield players to be just worried about the central area of the pitch, not to be worried about compensating for the left side or the right side.
‘Playing with Pedro and Willian, the midfield players don’t have to look to the left or the right. Willian and Pedro did amazing defensive work on very good offensive players, Hutton and Richardson, and later Amavi. They allowed the midfield players to be very comfortable, and to have performances like Ramires and Fabregas had, totally controlling the centre of the pitch.
‘It was just a tactical decision leaving super quality on the bench but bringing tactical discipline and hoping that the team could be solid. I continue in that way or he [Hazard] comes in our direction and tries to replicate the same work Willian or Pedro did.’
Today we were able to find these ingredients that we need especially when we are not playing at a top level. When you are not playing at a top level, and on top of that you have no concentration, you make defensive mistakes, you don’t defend well, you lose the ball and you don’t have 10 players fighting to recover it as soon as possible, you cannot win.
‘So let’s try to keep this mentality, let’s try to keep this tactical attitude, and at the same time, with a little bit more happiness and confidence, go in the direction of what we are.’