MOURINHO: POSITIVE WEEK
Having had a full week to prepare for tomorrow's game at Hull City, only our second Barclays Premier League fixture of 2014, Jose Mourinho is confident his side can build on our impressive recent run of form and move to the top of the table, even if just temporarily.
The Blues return to Barclays Premier League action tomorrow when we head north to take on Steve Bruce's side, and Mourinho addressed the media at Cobham shortly before the squad departed.
A wide range of topics were covered, including the benefits of having no midweek fixture, the progression of the team at the midway point of the campaign and potential departures during the current transfer window.
Firstly, though, he looked ahead to the game itself.
'We have a chance to win tomorrow, it's a very difficult match, I don't say that because it's a Premier League match and every match is difficult, I say that based on my analysis of Steve Bruce's work,' said the Portuguese.
'We have a chance to win and if we do that for a few hours we are top of the league, but as I keep saying, the most important thing is to secure a position in the top four which is very difficult for everyone.
'Just as important as that is to improve the team, improve the players, keep playing well and prepare the team for another period of success like Chelsea had between 2004 and 2012.'
With no game in midweek, a rarity this season, Mourinho has enjoyed having an extra few days to prepare his side for the match, and he hopes the good work carried out on the training pitch will serve us well at the KC Stadium.
'It's been very good for us, the players finally had a day off and we had three days to work,' he said. 'We worked tactically and tried to improve certain aspects of our game.
'It also helped with the recovery of Lampard and Ivanovic. Of course, they are not ready, but it was a week without a match, so it was a positive week for us and hopefully tomorrow we can play a good game and reflect the good work the players did.'
We go into the game in the middle of an impressive run of form, having won four and drawn one of our last five matches, with only a solitary goal conceded, and Mourinho believes we are reaping the rewards of collective improvements.
'I think some of the oldest players are playing at a very good level, that is important, that evolution, especially for John [Terry], who last year was in a bad situation.
'As a team I believe we are improving and in such a difficult league to be, after the fixtures we've had, in a position in the top four, after six months of work, is positive.'
The opening of the transfer window inevitably brings constant rumours surrounding potential arrivals and departures at all clubs.
Chelsea are no different, but while Mourinho admitted Kevin De Bruyne may leave the club, there have been no bids for any other players.
'He has a chance to go,' explained the Portuguese. 'He's a player that we've had a couple of offers for. We will keep analysing these offers. One of them is coming to a level where we believe it can be a good situation for the player and the club.
'We know he's a fantastic young player with lots of potential, I can say I would be happy to keep him and develop him, but we also have to analyse the player's profile, the player's personality and he wants so much to go that maybe it's a good option.
'It's a very good deal for the club from a financial point of view, the club bought him a couple of years ago for a small fee and now we have the possibility to sell him for a very positive amount.
'No bids, zero bids, there is nothing on the table. We've had two bids for Kevin which the club are analysing but absolutely nothing in relation to other players in the first team squad.'
He also addressed speculation surrounding the future of Eden Hazard,
'I'm not worried because if two years later he is two or three times better than he was when we bought him, his value in the market is a crazy value,' said Mourinho.
'On top of that, he's not a player we are interested in selling. Because of the fact we don't want to sell and the crazy value he has, I don't think there's any chance Eden will go.'
The press conference came to a conclusion with Mourinho giving his thoughts on the appointment of Pepe Mel at West Bromwich Albion.
'I know him, he was at Betis when I was at Madrid, I wish him well, my relationship with him was always positive but as I keep saying, I feel sorry for the British managers because at this moment we [the foreign managers] are too many, so there is less space for them,' said the Blues boss.
'I don't know why it is but I would like to see more opportunities for British managers; this is their country, their league and we should prove a lot to deserve to be here.'