Mourinho: Ready to react

We finished Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace with two 19-year-olds and a 20-year-old on the pitch, and Jose Mourinho believes their performances showcased the talent they have at their disposal.

Kurt Zouma, 20, completed the full game while Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kenedy, both 19, were introduced off the bench soon after Palace took the lead midway through the second half. The left-footed Brazilian was making his first Chelsea appearance.

Despite the final scoreline Mourinho was happy to praise the trio’s impact on Saturday, but he explained their performances should not be viewed in terms of the pressure they might place on more senior members of the squad.

‘This is about the young players working and coming in and using the opportunities they have to improve and show their qualities,’ the manager said.

‘I have beautiful young eggs in Kenedy, in Ruben and in Zouma. If you look at the game all of these young eggs did well. Zouma - great personality, great game. Kenedy changed the game and gave a different intensity and a different quality. Ruben was fine too.

‘I’m not saying they are ready and they can be consistent and play every game. I am saying these young guys have good talent. Zouma with the experience of the last season has reached a fantastic level for a 20-year-old. Kenedy and Ruben, these kinds of boys, are players with very good talent.’

Mourinho won’t have much time to work with his squad before our next game at Everton because of the impending international break. He can expect to have his whole group together again by the middle of next week at the earliest.

Both the match with Palace and the few training sessions he will conduct close to our trip to Merseyside will dictate the boss’s next starting line-up.  

‘I can tell you in general terms it’s difficult for a team to have a consistent performance when some of the players are not performing at a good level. You could clearly identify two or three players who could do better, and this is what we have to do.

‘If you ask me if I’m going to accept this, cross my arms, sit in a nice chair and wait calmly for the performance level to be back – no [I am not]. I have to work, I have to react, I have to analyse, and if I feel the players are not in conditions to react and give more, I have to make changes.

‘It is not about being loyal or not loyal, it is for me to analyse if they are ready to give an answer and try to fight against that bad individual form or not.’