Jose Mourinho has praised Didier Drogba for his impact in Tuesday’s League Cup win, as Chelsea survived Shrewsbury scare to book a quarter-finals ticket.
The Ivorian, 36, in his second spell at the west London club, opened scoring via a well-taken shot early in the second half. Andy Mangan leveled for Micky Mellon’s side but Drogba would later contribute to the 81st- minute own goal when by putting Jermaine Grandison under pressure, while the Shrews defender turned home a Willian cross.
“I was worried when they equalised, but we go through and Didier played a massive part in that,” said the Portuguese, 51.
“Hopefully he will be good for the weekend, but we will have to see because right now his character is stronger than his body.
“Maybe what he has done today (Tuesday) is through his character, not his body. That’s what makes players special and any of the young players lucky enough to play alongside him learn from that.”
Mourinnho was also satisfied with the performances of his experienced players, like goalkeeper Petr Cech and midfielder John Obi Mikel, who made their first starts in as many matches.
He added: “I also had people like Petr Cech and Mikel, people with lots of years at the club, who would prefer to start at Old Trafford.
“They didn’t and they came here today and gave a fantastic example.”
Mourinho was far from impressed with performances of his fringe players and says it will be “easy” to select his team for the weekend following the hard laboured 2-1 win over the League Two side.
Dane Andreas Christensen, 18, was handed a first team debut, while fellow defender Nathan Ake, 19, and Kurt Zouma, 20, were also given a start.
Egypt winger Mohamed Salah and Andre Shuerrle were among the non regular players given opportunities to shine.
“I expect players to give me problems. I love problems. But a lot of them didn’t and they’ve made it easy to choose my team for Saturday,” said Mourinho, whose side host Queens Park Rangers this weekend.
“If players who played 90 minutes two days ago were fantastic, I expect people who are not playing a lot to raise the level to create me problems. They didn’t create me big problems.”