Blues boss wants more from flair players

Jose Mourinho insists his attacking players must work harder defensively if Chelsea are to sustain a title challenge.

There has been speculation that the Blues boss could adopt a different style of play following defeats at Everton, Newcastle, Stoke and Sunderland.

Mourinho says he is reluctant to do so, but has made no secret of the fact that he wants flair players like Juan Mata and Eden Hazard to be more effective when they do not have the ball.

He explained: “You don’t need to change formation to think of the game in a different way. We have to try to improve certain aspects of our game.

Juan Mata of Chelsea
Mourinho wants more from the likes of Mata.

“We can improve our results by having more security when we lose possession of the ball, because at this moment we are not punishing opponents by scoring more.

“One of the aspects we need to improve is the defensive work of the attacking players who are in the team.

“It is the responsibility of all players, when the team loses the ball, to be – I won’t say more committed, because that’s not the right word, they are committed – but to change their brain a little bit.”

Chelsea have played some scintillating football at times this season and will replace leaders Arsenal at the top of the Premier League if they beat the Gunners in Monday’s derby at the Emirates Stadium.

However, Mourinho warned: “To be a team that plays very good football is an important step. To be a team that plays good football and wins a lot of matches is a more difficult step.

“That step is only possible when that offensive team defends very well when it doesn’t have possession of the ball.

“Some players that are used to playing with the ball at their feet and are very comfortable in the offensive phase when the team possesses the ball, they have to also be very comfortable without the ball.”

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