Mourinho: In good shape

The Blues brought the curtain down on our pre-season campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Real Sociedad at Stamford Bridge, leaving Jose Mourinho in confident mood ahead of next Monday’s Barclays Premier League opener at Burnley.

Diego Costa was the star of the show on his first home appearance, with the 25-year-old scoring a brace inside eight minutes, the first of which came after only 57 seconds, and Mourinho hopes he can take that form into the new season.

‘What can we expect? I expect Diego and Diego is a team player who works hard, he’s not just about goals,’ said the Blues boss. ‘It’s about his defensive work, mentality and ambition. This is the player we bought and we were waiting for since last season. This is why we didn’t buy a striker in the winter market. We were waiting for him, we have him and hopefully everything goes well.

‘He looks adapted to the team, and the Premier League, not just Chelsea, should be happy. Sometimes we lose important players going to other countries and sometimes we bring new top players here.

‘You can consider that [a bargain] because the market is crazy and the values are very high. For a striker like him, a champion in Spain, a Champions League finalist, a 25-year-old, we consider the price was very much in our favour.’

The potency of Costa was all the more welcome given the injury sustained by Didier Drogba during Sunday’s game against Ferencvaros, although Mourinho indicated the Ivorian could still feature at Turf Moor in six days’ time.

‘He’s good,’ reported the Portuguese. ‘I don’t want to say ready for Monday but with the quality of our medical department and the mentality he has, I’m not saying it’s impossible for him to recover for Monday.’

Tonight’s game saw Thibaut Courtois complete 90 minutes for the first time in a Chelsea shirt having missed the last few friendlies through injury.

Mourinho has already decided which of his goalkeepers will start our opening Premier League game, but refused to confirm one way or another.

‘I played Thibaut for 90 minutes because he was injured and didn’t play last weekend,’ he said. ‘Petr played two matches in Turkey and the first half against Ferencvaros. Since he arrived Courtois has only played 45 minutes against Werder Bremen, he needs to play.

‘The fact Courtois played 90 minutes wasn’t me saying he’s first choice for Monday, it’s because he didn’t play the last three matches. The players don’t know (who’s first choice). When will I tell them? On Sunday.’

While it was Diego Costa who caught the eye with his two goals, fellow new signings Cesc Fabregas and Filipe Luis both produced composed performances, and Mourinho believes the arrival of the trio has strengthened his squad significantly.

‘We bought three players, in Filipe, Diego and Cesc, at the best stage for a player, between 25 and 30,’ he explained. ‘They are three experienced players with qualities to immediately improve our team. Last season we went to a different profile when we bought people like Salah and Schurrle who needed time. Obviously we also went for Zouma but the strong nucleus of Filipe, Diego and Cesc is ready.

‘The squad has improved for sure. This is the Premier League, every team tries to be better. Are we ready for that? Yes, but this is England. In some countries only two teams can win the league, sometimes only one, but here it’s five or six.

‘The only thing I can say is that I very much like the squad. The club were fantastic because they gave me the three targets I asked for. We have the squad we want to have, it’s a squad for tomorrow, for next season and also with big possibilities for the next five-10 years.’