Mourinho: Counting forwards

Jose Mourinho is able to name Diego Costa in his squad for tomorrow’s home game against Queens Park Rangers, and welcomes what he describes as a fantastic selection problem.

The centre-forward is available having missed four games since playing twice for Spain, and is also joined in the squad by Ramires who has overcome a muscle injury sustained during the match at Manchester City in September.

Loic Remy remains out. Mourinho anticipates he will be back from his groin injury after the international break in mid-November. John Mikel Obi also misses the QPR game due to a small knee problem that troubled the Nigerian in the win at Shrewsbury.

‘It is difficult when only one striker is available, when you have two obviously the situation improves,’ said Mourinho after announcing Diego Costa’s return to fitness at his pre-match media conference.

‘Not having Mikel is not good for us, he is always an option, but the fact we recovered Ramires is a compensation for that loss, so the situation is a bit better.’

With the next round of international matches coming after next weekend’s visit to Liverpool, Mourinho confirmed nothing can be done to stop Diego Costa’s involvement if Spain want to field the player.

‘I am always supportive of players playing for countries, when the players are in condition to do it and when the players in the national teams, they follow the same kind of programme to recover from the problems they have,’ he added.   

‘Everyone knows the time Diego was having problems at Chelsea and the way we managed to keep him playing, and then after the national team we lost him for four matches in three different competitions. Now he is available again but he needs obviously to be again under special care and we are going to do that, it is the only thing we can do.’

Mourinho now has to decide whether Diego Costa goes straight back into the starting 11 for this weekend’s game or whether Didier Drogba, following a goal in each of the last three matches, carries on.

‘It is a fantastic problem for me,’ the manager acknowledged, ‘and the perfect problem is when Remy is back and we have all three. When we made this group of three strikers at the beginning of the season we think we did well.

‘We decided all together, the owner, the board, me, him, to bring Didier Drogba back.

‘For such a legend in this club it is a difficult decision to take, and we took it together, we believing in him and he believing in himself and thinking he still has conditions to be important, which he always was before.

‘To be important at the age of 36 doesn’t mean playing 90 minutes of 50 matches. To be important you need to be there when the team needs you to be there, and he was fantastic for us in the last week when we were really in trouble with no Diego Costa and no Loic Remy. And he did something that no player should do, which was to play 90 minutes of football twice with 48 hours difference, which he managed to do in an absolutely fantastic way.’

Mourinho pointed out to reporters this will be the first time he has taken on Queens Park Rangers as Chelsea manager, and that having analysed Harry Redknapp’s side this season, he is anticipating a difficult game, added to by local rivalry.

‘Everyone knows London is a special place because of derbies. There are always about eight or 10 derbies a season which makes it unique, and makes the London teams have more difficulties than others because a derby is always a derby.’


- A video of the conference can be watched below, subject to Fan Club Plus+ membership.


Mourinho: Diego Costa is available