Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho has stressed on the importance of stability ahead of their clash against Stoke City on Saturday.
Chelsea’s grip on the title race seemed to have loosened a bit recently following two defeats in their last three games – against Aston Villa and more recently against Crystal Palace. They are currently two points behind league leaders Liverpool and two points above Manchester City, who have two matches in hand. Following their defeat in the first leg of their Champions League quarter final tie against PSG, Chelsea will look to return to winning ways against Stoke City – a side which defeat them in the Premier League earlier this season.
But despite their drop in form, Jose Mourinho has insisted that the fact that they are just two points behind the league leaders at this point is an improvement on their performances in the previous seasons when they were way off the pace. He also stressed on the importance of stability at the club and insisted that there won’t be any radical changes in the summer irrespective of where they finish this season.
“We are there, two points behind Liverpool but what is important is the fact that two years ago Chelsea finished 25 points behind the leaders. Last season, when Man United were champions, Chelsea were 15 points behind.
“We are in a process of rebuilding a new team with conditions not to finish 20 or 25 points behind the champions. We don’t want to compete in the Europa League, we want to play in the Champions League.
“We’ll do that with stability, not by changing 12 to 14 players every season. What is stability? It’s to keep the best players you have and the structure you are trying to build. Part of the evolution is based on the stability and part is based on bringing in a couple of players in the transfer windows, like we did in the last one and like what we will try to do in the summer.” – The Chelsea manager said.
Mourinho has also acknowledged the fact that it won’t be easy to get a positive result against Stoke City, who have troubled them earlier this season and has also praised their style of play and willingness to stick to their identity.
“We lost there because we made a couple of mistakes, it’s one of the few matches where we have made defensive mistakes this season,’ he said. ‘We could have been winning at half-time easily and we arrived at half-time drawing.
“They are a difficult opponent, we played them in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge, we won 1-0 but it wasn’t an easy match, it was open until the end, so tomorrow will be difficult. They are fresh, they play one match a week, they have no pressure and they will fight to finish the season in a beautiful position, they want to finish seventh, not 11th.
“We know how Stoke play, they are not the kind of team who change their approach to matches. They have their identity, they are getting good results, even away from home, so I don’t see a reason for them to have a radical change.” – Mourinho added.
Following his recent outburst against his strikers and the lack of options upfront, Mourinho also faced questions regarding the future of Romelu Lukaku, who has recently been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur. But the Portuguese manager has refused to comment on the Belgium international’s long term future at the club, instead the has insisted that the loan spell has worked well for all the three parties involved.
“He’s a Chelsea player but at the same time he’s an Everton player until the end of the season and we want to respect that.
“Everton has been a good club for the loan; our player is there, he’s playing and he’s developing. That’s what you expect when you send a player on loan, it doesn’t happen with every club and every player. The loan is working well for the three – Lukaku, Everton and Chelsea.” – He said in his pre-match press conference.