Summary from the Special One
Right, that’s all from the Special One for now then.
He seemed in a relatively chatty mood today, certainly better than recent weeks when the pressure was starting to show.
What did we learn from Mourinho ahead of the Bournemouth game? Here’s a quick summary of today’s news conference...
- John Terry, Radamel Falcao and Ramires have been ruled out
- Nemanja Matic will wear a protective face mask but is in the squad
- Thibaut Courtois is selected and could start between the sticks
- Diego Costa is also in the squad and Jose was happy for his squad to go out partying
- Mourinho denied he has been contacted about the Valencia job
- He thinks Bournemouth deserve respect for their achievments
- It’s too early to talk about contract extensions for Terry and Branislav Ivanovic
Too early to discuss Terry and Ivanovic deals
Gary Cahill signed a new four-year contract this week.
The defender rushed it over the line before his 30th birthday to get around the club’s rule of only giving one-year extensions to those beyond that landmark.
Fellow defenders John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic are out of contract in the summer too.
What does that mean for them then, Jose?
“It means they can sign as well,” he answers, before being asked whether they will do so. “It’s too early for them,” he says of the pair.
Double nose fracture for Matic
Nemanja Matic has a double fracture of his nose and cheek.
He picked up the problem last weekend but should be good to go against Bournemouth.
Mourinho: “It was not a nice touch in his face but he’s ready.
“He’s training, he feels comfortable, the vision is good.”
December to remember
Have Chelsea put their bad run behind them?
They’ve certainly surprised everyone with their early-season form but Jose hopes those days are gone.
Mourinho: “We hope so. I have to be cautious because this is the Premier League and you don’t know what’s waiting around the corner.
“We were strong as a club.
“Bad results with good performances, we kept our faith and last week we got three positive results in a row.
“I think this month of December can be good. We play four matches at home in the Premier League.
Cherries or Porto return for keeper
Mourinho still doesn’t know whether Courtois will play tomorrow.
But if he misses the Cherries game then he will definitely feature against Porto.
He said: “19 matches without the best goalkeeper in the world was tough for us.
“Clearly, sooner or later he will be my No 1, so if he doesn’t play against Bournemouth then he’ll play against Porto.”
No chance of replacing Neville at Valencia
Gary Neville’s appointment as Valencia boss has shocked the world.
Mourinho, who denies he has had contact about the job, says he wishes Neville all the best.
There is always a first day for a manager. If he wants to be a manager he must have a first day.
He was a very good player, a very good pundit and he now has to prove he is a good manager.
When Gary accepts the challenge of Valencia it means he wants to do it.
I believe to accept the challenge is because he feels very well prepared.
Happy for Howe
Mourinho is a big fan of Eddie Howe.
“Brilliant work last season,” he says.
“They did really well to be promoted. Premier League is different but they believe in what they do, they believe in themselves.
“They deserve respect.
I know what it is to lose an important player and for a player like Bournemouth to lose Wilson for a long time is a big blow.”
Mourinho has been talking about the squad’s Christmas party.
He says: “I think they need that.
“Half of them live in London and half of them nowhere near London.
“I think it’s good for them and they told me the dinner was good and the after-dinner was better.”
Mourinho jokes he’s ‘tired’ of seeing his staff so doesn’t want a party!
No problem with Costa
Jose dropped Diego Costa against Spurs last week.
He was out partying on Wednesday night but that’s not a problem for the boss, who says he has no idea why there are reports linking Costa with an exit.
Mourinho also confirms the Spain star is in the squad
For me there are no question marks.
There are no problems at all.
I think he always tries to give his best. Sometimes phenomenal, sometimes not the best.
I just need him to try his best, that is normal.
Three out but Courtois returns
Mourinho starts by giving
John Terry, Ramires and Falcao are still out.
Thibaut Courtois, as expected, is named in the squad.
However, the players have no yet been told what the starting line-up is.
Mourinho: “It’s very important that we have him back.”
Jose in the house
Mourinho, flanked by the club’s press officer, has arrived here at Cobham.
We’ve got a packed press room waiting to speak to the Blues boss.
Let’s see what the Chelsea chief has got to say for himself then as he begins answering the questions.
This, as always, should be entertaining...
Decision to make up front
Jose Mourinho will decide whether he restores Diego Costa to the starting line-up or continue to freeze him out as he did against Tottenham.
The pair fell out during Chelsea’s recent Champions League win against Maccabi Tel Aviv and the Spanish striker was an unused substitute at White Hart Lane.
Costa did not take part in the pre-match warm-up and appeared to throw his bib in Mourinho’s direction after being told he wasn’t coming on.
The Chelsea boss is not renowned for being very forgiving and could give new father Loic Remy a recall after he missed the draw in north London to witness the birth.
Indeed, after the game, Mourinho suggested Costa was fortunate that he was the last of his big players to be dropped.
Despite the controversy, Branislav Ivanovic believes the striker will return a better player after his exile.
He said: “I expect Diego to come back strongly. I think we started the season as a team and we have to finish as a team.
“This is important. When we start losing, we all know it’s not about the one or two players playing badly or playing well.”
Courtois closing on comeback
Thibaut Courtois could be thrown straight back into the Chelsea starting line-up for Saturday evening’s visit of Bournemouth.
The big Belgian goalkeeper has been missing since the end of August after undergoing knee surgery but has been back in full training at Cobham this week.
Courtois has so far shown no signs of aggravating the injury but the club’s coaching staff will monitor his progress in the lead up to kick-off before making a final call on his fitness.
Chelsea face a Champions League Group G decider with Porto on Wednesday and manager Jose Mourinho would prefer to give the 23-year-old some game-time ahead of that showdown.
Howe's hopes for Blues battle
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is relishing the challenge of Saturday’s trip to Chelsea after last weekend’s dramatic draw against Everton.
Howe believes his players have been buoyed by that performance and are ready to take on Jose Mourinho’s below-par defending champions.
You hope a result like that can really boost the confidence of the players and that belief system you need to win games or get a point. Naturally it is a really good challenge for all of us. These are the games you want to be involved in.
You want to be able to compete with the top (managers). He (Mourinho) has a record that is unrivalled.
I didn’t expect to be so close to them (in the table) but I think they are in a false position (14th). I am sure they will pick up points and climb. We are playing the champions. For me they are one of the best teams in the country.
We are not underestimating the team. We fully respect them as a team and we are going to have to be at our very best to get anything.
Good afternoon folks
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to LIVE coverage of today’s Chelsea vs Bournemouth press conference.
Jose Mourinho is due to sit down with the media at 12noon this lunchtime ahead of Saturday evening’s fixture with the Cherries.
It’s another huge week for the Premier League champions as they take on Eddie Howe’s boys and then prepare for a crunch Champions League decider with Porto on Wednesday night.
They go into this one on the back of last weekend’s stalemate with Spurs at White Hart Lane and are 14th in the standings with 15 points from their opening 14 matches of the campaign.
Stay tuned as we bring you the latest from the Special One as soon as he arrives here at the club’s training base in Cobham.