Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes goalkeeper Petr Cech will have his time at some point in the new season, but deem it difficult to offer any player selection guarantee.
Cech was named as substitute behind Belgium international Thibaut Courtois for the opening game of the season, which the ‘Blues’ won 3-1 at Burnley. Mourinho thinks there are other players in his squad, aside Cech, who will get less game time than they would like this season.
“Petr Cech is a top professional, he is working as always, behaving as always, being a group man as always, being a Chelsea person as always. Is he totally happy? I don’t believe so, but it is not (just) him. It is everyone who didn’t start the game,” said Mourinho in his press conference ahead of his side’s firs home game of the season.
“This period is hard for them, for me, because it is a period with one match per week, so (for the) first three matches, they clearly feel that some are playing more and some don’t.”
He feels the situation could get better by the time the rest domestic and continental competitions have gotten in full swing.
“But (in) September, (there is the) Capital One Cup, Premier League, Champions League, three matches a week, everyone is playing, with rotation, resting and (tactical) decisions – so that is an easier period for them and an easier period for me in the sense of everybody feels much better. Now, when there is only one match per week, some are not playing and they feel (it) more, but Petr’s behaviour is fantastic, and that is important.
“If you play one match a week, it is easier for the players to feel they are the first option or second option, that you have given priority to someone. But when you play three matches a week, important matches after each other, everything becomes easier for me and for them, because they (all) play. For Chelsea, there is no competition more important than the other one because we want to compete in every one.”
Chelsea hosts Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The ‘Foxes’ clinched outright promotion after winning the Championship last season, putting paid to a ten-year absence from the top flight.
Nigel Pearson’s men sealed a 2-2 draw against Everton last weekend and fancy pitting their wits against Mourinho’s title favourites on the road.
The Portuguese boss is aware of the challenges posed by Premier League newcomers and expects them to be full of confidence.
Mourinho added: “They are champions, so they come with that winning mentality from the previous season, with high expectations and motivations to play in the Premier League,” he said. “They know that every point is important in this league, especially for the teams that fight to keep in the division, so they are coming to try to get points.”
There are no new injury concerns for the hosts ahead of the clash. Left-back Felipe Luis awaits his debut, after sitting out of Monday’s season-opening win at Burnley.
Leicester will be without central midfielder Danny Drinkwater and Matty James, who are nursing respective hamstring and shin injuries. Matthew Upson is still sidelined with a foot problem, but striker Jamie Vardy and winger Marc Albrighton are in contention after returning from injury.