Jose Mourinho is confident his side will be in top condition when we head to Burnley for our opening Premier League game next Monday.
Our penultimate pre-season friendly saw the Blues come from behind to beat Ferencvaros 2-1 in Budapest courtesy of second-half goals from Ramires and Cesc Fabregas, with our final warm-up game to come against Real Sociedad tomorrow.
Mourinho praised the efforts of our opponents, who were opening their new stadium, the Groupama Arena.
‘They competed and that was important for us,’ said the Portuguese. ‘We need competition, we don’t need to win 5-0, 6-0, 7-0. I told my players it’s a historical day for Ferencvaros with the opening of the new stadium; they wanted to play, perform and score the first goal in the new stadium. They fought for a result until the last minute and that was good for us.’
The introduction of Fabregas at the break undoubtedly had an influence on the manner in which we controlled the tempo of the game in the second half, with a wonderful solo goal capping a fine display.
Of course, the departure of club legend Frank Lampard leaves a big void, but Mourinho believes the Spanish midfielder will prove to be a wonderful addition in the long term.
‘Frank is the history of the club, history nobody can forget,’ said the Blues boss. ‘Fabregas is the future; history is history but the future is more important at the moment. My opinion, and the opinion of my players, is that Fabregas is the right player to occupy that central position in midfield.’
Mourinho is now delighted to have his whole squad together, with Andre Schurrle and the Brazilian trio the last players to return to the club following their summer breaks.
‘It’s been a difficult pre-season because we started with seven players,’ said the Chelsea manager.
‘After that, step by step, players were arriving after the World Cup and holidays. Finally, in this last week we’ve had everybody together but obviously not everyone is prepared. For example, Ivanovic has been training for one month, Schurrle has trained for five days, so there is a big difference between players.
‘We have to play the first league match next weekend and we will be ready for that.’