18 October 2014 01:28
Jose Mourinho conceded Chelsea were not ready to cope with the pressures associated with winning the Premier League title last season.
Chelsea finished third – four points adrift of champions Manchester City – in Mourinho’s first season back in England.
The London club ended February atop the table but they were left to rue slip ups against lowly Aston Villa (1-0), Crystal Palace (1-0) and Sunderland (2-1) as City narrowly won the title.
Chelsea do not appear to be unstable this time around, however, with new signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas instrumental in the side’s ruthless seven-game unbeaten start to the 2014-15 campaign.
And Mourinho believes Chelsea are now better equipped to mount a serious title challenge.
“We had certain limitations in the team in terms of tactical qualities, technical qualities, and we were aware of that. My style of leadership is not a style. I try to have a leadership that is adapted to the reality,” Mourinho told the Telegraph.
“And last year I was feeling that they were not ready for what I call a pressure leadership – or confrontational leadership. The team as a team was mentally – and even tactically – unstable.
“We couldn’t cope with certain moments of the game. My feeling is that obviously this season we’re going to lose matches, but I don’t think we are going to lose matches because we couldn’t cope with a certain moment, or a specific [part] of the game.
“Last year we had problems when the opposite team was closed in a low block [deep-lying defence], we had problems when the other team was putting direct pressure on us with direct football, we couldn’t cope very well when we had two or three or four consecutive matches, and we had to keep that high focus for one, two, three, four matches.
“When we were in a good run, I was feeling that the end of the run was coming. So my team was unstable. This season we improve footballistically, with Diego and Fabregas, no doubt.
“When we analyse in tactical and technical terms, they represent the kind of player we need, the kind of second midfield player, the quality of striker.”