Jose Mourinho has urged his Chelsea players to adopt a Didier Drogba/Zlatan Ibrahimovich-like mental strength as they chase Premier League glory.
The Portuguese manager is keen to develop a certain philosophy at Stamford Bridge and believes he can bring the killer instinct out of players by pressurising them. Mourinho added that he has done this to great success in the past with players like Drogba and Ibrahimovich.
Mourinho told reporters on Tuesday:
“I like to put pressure on them, yes, but you have to analyse the players you’re working with.
“I gave Didier as an example. When I put real pressure on him, the animal was always coming out.
“Ibrahimovic at Inter – exactly the same. When I put real pressure on him, I knew that the answer was coming.”
But it isn’t a method that works for everyone, admitted the Chelsea manager:
“It depends on the players’ profiles. Some react in a very good way. Some don’t. I have players who have told me not to criticise them in front of the other guys because, ‘It’s not good for my self-esteem.’ I’ve had everything.
“You accumulate experiences in your career that everything becomes like déjà vu.”
Mourinho’s men take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light tonight and he will be hoping to evoke some of that killer instinct as the Blues have not had back-to-back away victories since he returned to West London and he would be particularly pleased if it came from his forwards, who haven’t scored a league goal away from Stamford Bridge this calendar yet as Fernando Torres was the last forward to score on the road in the same fixture last December.
It’s clear that Mourinho wants to develop a title winning mentality at the club and made leaders out of the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba the last time he won the Premier League, but who will make the step up and drive Chelsea towards glory should they finish top of the league come May?