Jose Mourinho was asked about his captain and vice-captain at today’s press conference, explaining that, just as with the rest of the squad, their recent attitude has been exemplary.
John Terry has been on the bench for three of our last four games, but Mourinho said he and his skipper’s relationship has not changed one bit because of that, adding he was glad to hear that Chelsea supporters in Porto had chanted the defender’s name when he was doing some post-match fitness work on the Dragao pitch.
‘The fans can sing and I’m happy they sing and I’m happy they support John,’ he said.
‘It’s more important they support John when he is not playing than when he is playing, playing well and everything is on a high for him. The supporters are great so I’m happy with that.
‘Every game he is ready to play, even the ones when I leave him on the bench.’
Another journalist asked Mourinho if he was concerned about Branislav Ivanovic’s form this season.
‘It’s something I speak to Ivanovic about,’ was his response. ‘Ivanovic likes to speak with me, and he likes to speak with me about his mistakes.
‘He is not crying. He is not a prima donna. I am critical with him. I speak with him about what he has to try to improve. I have no doubts he is my best right-back, and I have no doubts he has to improve some aspects of his game this season. It’s as simple as that.’
The reaction this week of Oscar, Loic Remy and Falcao to not being a part of the group that went to Portugal also boosted Mourinho. It epitomised the bigger picture, too. His players are going in the same direction together, irrespective of selection or form.
‘I was told by my assistant that stayed in London and didn’t travel to Porto, Chris Jones, that they worked fantastically well on Tuesday,’ reported Mourinho.
‘They could have stayed here and not shown motivation, but because they knew they could be selected for the next match tomorrow they worked really hard and well on the Tuesday when it’s not easy to do that because your team is playing and you’re not travelling with the team.
‘It’s not easy to find that motivation, but they found it. In the last three days, normal business, working well like everybody else does here.
‘With me everybody works well, every day,’ stressed Mourinho. ‘With the way we work, and with the way we demand professionalism and attitude, it’s very difficult not to work well.
‘We are a group, we communicate, every player has the ambition to play, every player respects each other, and every player wants to play and is not happy when he is not playing.
‘Every player is very respectful to me and, even more important than that, they are respectful to the other players. Everybody supports everybody, great behaviour by everyone, so we are alive.’