Monday, August 19, 2013

Mourinho: Chelsea have rarely played so well

The returning Blues manager praises his side's impressive first-half display that brought a 2-0 half-time lead and thanks supporters for his welcome reception at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has hailed his side's first half against Hull City Tigers as quality that they rarely produced in his first spell in charge.

Oscar opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge after Frank Lampard had missed a penalty but the England international went on to double the lead with a free kick before half-time, the west Londoners maintaining their 2-0 advantage until the end of the game.

Mourinho, back after departing the Blues at the start of 2007-08, was more than satisfied, adding that the dominant first half performance could not be sustained for a

whole match.

"I've played so many times here and won so many matches here but we've not had so many periods here like that quality," he told reporters. "I'm very happy.

"When I saw the second half going in another direction, at the beginning I was frustrated because I want more but, after five minutes, I thought we didn't because we couldn't. We can't play that way for 90 minutes - we had no energy, no physical energy and no mental availability to play that way.

"The three boys behind Fernando Torres were fantastic. In the second half they disappeared. All of them played national team matches: Kevin De Bruyne, 85 minutes v France, Oscar, 80 minutes v Switzerland, Eden Hazard, 80 minutes against France.

"When the creativity disappeared, we lost the danger in our game but the game was already dead when I made the changes."

The former Porto, Inter and Real Madrid coach explained that he had anticipated the warm homecoming welcome that he received from the home supporters but insists that it is now time for the fans to focus on the players.

"The reception was fantastic. It gives me more responsibility, I guess, but, at the same time, they know I give everything for this club," he added.

"The reception was amazing. I was expecting that, to be fair, because I played here with Inter as an opponent and it was fantastic. I could imagine coming to Chelsea would be like that but, when the game started, I focused on the game.

"They gave me more than I deserve, they gave me a lot, and they have to support the players from now on."