Jose Mourinho set to display Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 18: ‘Completely made in Chelsea’
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is in the squad, having been with Chelsea since the age of eight, in an example of nurturing which Mourinho hopes pays off.
Mourinho said: “To be here since he was eight and to have the chance to play for Chelsea’s first team is every kid’s dream.
“English player, 18, completely made in Chelsea. If he does it, if he succeeds, it’s good.”
Mourinho added: “If the kids are not good enough or the work is not good enough – and year after year you don’t bring kids to the first team – it’s better to close the door and use the money that you spend on the academy to buy players.”
Mourinho also said he isn’t concerned about Chelsea in the wake of their first defeat of the season, as he prepares to rest much of the key personnel that have driven the club to the top of the Premier League table.
Chelsea lost for the first time in 24 matches this term at Newcastle United last Saturday and next play a Sporting side seeking to join them in the last 16.
“By the mental point of view, the defeat to Newcastle doesn’t have an effect on us,” Mourinho said.
“I was always saying that a defeat would arrive and it wouldn’t arrive by complacency. I accept the defeat as a normal situation in a championship like the Premier League.
“I’m more than happy with the players, I’m more than happy with our situation. We are fine. We don’t need a reaction, we don’t need to change things.
“We couldn’t be in a better situation. Top in the Premier League, top (of the) group in the Champions League and (in the) quarter-final in the League Cup.
“We have nothing to change and be worried with, but when you lose a game the next game you want to win.
“I know the next game in the Premier League is Saturday (at home to Hull City) but tonight is the next game. And we want a good result.”
Mourinho admits he would like his compatriots Sporting to progress at the expense of a Schalke side managed by Roberto di Matteo, Chelsea’s European Cup-winning manager.
Schalke must win at Maribor to have any hope of progressing.
Chelsea’s Mourinho added: “I’m happy if Sporting go to the second round with seven points because my desire is to always win.
“I want to beat Sporting and then Schalke not to win against Maribor.”
Mourinho spotted an opportunity to give captain John Terry, Eden Hazard and Willian a rest.
He is likely to balance rotating his options with keeping his side in tune for the busy festive programme.
Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic had their rest when serving suspensions, while Cesc Fabregas is banned for the Hull game for accumulating five yellow cards.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech could make a third start in the competition after being displaced by Thibaut Courtois as first choice.
Sporting manager Marco Silva admits defensive midfielder William Carvalho could make a move to the Premier League next month.
The 22-year-old Portugal international has been linked with Arsenal, among other clubs.
Speaking on the eve of the Champions League clash at Chelsea, Silva said: “William is a target for English teams, but I want him to play his game.
“He’s not playing at the same level as last season because last season he was a surprise, but he’s improving. William has many offers. Let’s wait till January.”
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Published: December 10, 2014 04:00 AM