ESPN FC: Is Torres back?
Jose Mourinho says he is delighted with Fernando Torres’ contribution to the Chelsea side this season and feels that the player embodies the “collective soul” the team are showing at the moment.
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Despite having found himself playing second fiddle to Samuel Eto’o at times this term, Torres, 29, has forced his way back into the Blues starting lineup and has hit three goals in his last two games.
Asked once again if he felt the Spain international was back to his best, Mourinho refused to answer directly, but did point to the way that Torres -- like so many of his players -- is “self-motivated” and giving his all.
“I feel he’s just giving his best every game. When he’s the man of the match against Man City or when he’s not the man of the match, or when he’s on the bench and he comes on, I just feel he gives his best, always, and that’s the most important thing,” Mourinho said.
“I repeat, I did nothing [to improve Torres’ form]. I do what I always do, trying to get the best out of my players but in a very normal way -- the man responsible for his self-motivation, self-commitment for the way he’s working every day is him.
“I don’t like this history of one day the player is a disaster, the next day the player is phenomenal. I don’t think Fernando is a kid to be influenced by these wins, so I want him to be stable, I want him not to be too worried about proving himself, or not to prove, or scoring or not scoring. Just work for the team.
“I think a big thing is, I don’t know if it’s the correct word in English, if I translate from my Portuguese, it’s ‘state of soul’ and ‘collective state of soul’, and at the moment my players, most of them they have this ‘collective soul’. Good squad, good people, and we try our best every match.”
Mourinho feels this has been key to Chelsea’s “magnificent” October, in which the team won every game in all competitions.
“It’s important to go in the right direction, to play the way we were playing,” he said. “We are improving, we feel we are improving, the quality of our game is good.
“The results in this moment in the last month were fantastic because we won every match, every match in every competition in October, and we had to play Schalke away, Man City at home, very difficult matches. We won every match in October so October was magnificent for us, but to be top or not to be top is a question in this moment of one point, two points and that is not very important.
“Of course it’s better to be first than be fifth, that’s obvious but no problem for us. We go to Newcastle [on Saturday], we know we have one of the most difficult matches in the whole season. It’s very, very difficult for us to play at St James’ Park but that’s it, I want to try.”
Chelsea players have been quoted recently as saying Mourinho has restored a “winning mentality” at the club, however, the Portuguese attempted to deflect away the praise.
“I was not here to feel it [if the mentality was missing before], I just think that he [previous managers] can only do things and the players are open for that,” he said. “You can try and try and try and if the players are not open to your ideas, to your mentality, you fight, you fight, you fight. But at the end of the day you can’t do it.
“Again, I think if we are living in a positive moment, and we are playing well and getting good results, I think it’s up to them. I do my best to try to help them but I say again, the players are working in a fantastic way.”