MOURINHO: BIG EMPATHY
On the day he returns to the Stamford Bridge home dugout, Jose Mourinho has expressed his desire to stay at the club beyond the length of his current contract.
The Blues boss will oversee his first competitive game since returning to the club when Hull City visit Stamford Bridge this afternoon, our first match of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season.
Mourinho, unsurprisingly, is hopeful his side can maintain our impressive record on the opening day, when we haven't been beaten since a 2-1 defeat at Coventry City in 1998, but regardless of what happens over the course of the next few seasons, the Portuguese is hoping to remain in west London for the long term.
'I'm happy to stay until the club is happy and I'm happy,' he said. 'I don't see myself in Spain coaching another club, I don't see myself in Italy coaching another club than Inter. I don't see myself in other leagues because these are the leagues I love the most and where I was most curious to work in.
'In this country my connection is with Chelsea Football Club. I will try to make the club happy with me until the end of my contract, which is a long contract, and I hope at the end we both want to stay together.
'When the club spoke with me it was an immediate impact and an immediate feeling that I wanted to come back, but a decision is not made in two seconds, you have to listen to the club's ideas.
'I listened a lot and the same analysis of the team's profile we made together, or they'd even made before me, to call people back from loans, prepare other young players in the Academy with the next generation coming. For example, next season [Nathaniel] Chalobah will probably be with the first team squad and so on. They need some stability and in this moment the club are ready for that and I am ready for that.
'When you work with big empathy, and at this club we have big empathy in between the different sectors of the club, I think the trophies will arrive naturally, without obsession, based on stability, so I'm happy with that.'
The returning manager went on to explain the role he believes the senior figures can play in helping some of the less experienced players realise their full potential.
'I think this group, especially the older players, are ready mentally to cope with everything,' said Mourinho. 'They've coped with everything at this club; success, failure, changes in managers, new players coming, other players going. So from a mental point of view they can cope with it.
'They are in a fantastic condition to support the young kids. For the kids it's a big change; [Marco] Van Ginkel goes there (Stamford Bridge) and he doesn't know where the changing room is, it's the first time he's faced a situation like that in the Premier League.
'With the older generation, they are here because they have a lot to give as players, but also to help these young boys become top players.
'I think a coach is not a teacher, a manager is not a teacher, but at the same time you have to create empathy, you have to praise people. Feedback is important; you have to play with the negative feedback and the positive feedback, it's important.
'You have to teach them how to cope with high-pressure situations and difficult situations, I have to protect them and play them when I think it's the right moment to play them. It's more difficult if they are playing in a tough moment for the team so we have to think about it a lot because it can be important for the future.'
While Mourinho has, so far, exuded a calmer presence than he has at times in the past, he admitted that his competitive edge and will to win remain as strong as ever.
'I think part of the stability is to show them that I am a very stable person, but you can be stable and emotional at the same time,' he said. 'We were playing in a friendly against Roma and I was emotional in the way I was coaching my team, and it was just a friendly in DC.
'If you are winning 2-0 you want to win 3-0; if you are losing 2-0 you believe you can win the game 3-2 until the referee stops the game. These are points which help the kids build their character and help the team create an identity.
'I'm emotional, yes. I was a bit when I played here with Inter, but what I need to control is emotions, I'm not nervous. I want big matches; I don't like friendlies or pre-season, this is what I've been waiting for since I arrived.'