There are few players better equipped to compare the Jose Mourinho of old with the one that returned to Chelsea this summer than Petr Cech.
The Chelsea keeper played an integral part during Mourinho's successful reign between 2004 and 2007, when five major trophies were collected. Of all the characteristics that most people associate with that team, it was their dogged determination to win consistently which stayed in people's minds and made them such strong contenders.
So far, Mourinho Mark II has found it much more difficult to introduce such strength of will in his new recruits, although their 4-0 win over Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday has given the clearest indication yet that progress is being made. Cech has seen signs that the Chelsea character of old is returning, just a fortnight after the mood in the camp was at a real low following a surprise 2-1 defeat to Basel in their first Champions League group game.
When asked if there are similarities between this Mourinho side to one in the past, he said: "It's two different teams, but it was a very good performance against Steaua, we were ruthless and we achieved our objective. You can go out and have a bad game like we did in the first game but the main thing is the reaction. We knew the home game was a blow to us and we were coming here to win. We did that in great fashion and are back in business.
"You need good results to have the overall atmosphere, to make sure people believe what you are doing is the right way. Sometimes it takes a bit more time but I think we are doing well."
Juan Mata, one of the more influential members of the new generation having been at the club for over two years, has had to adapt more than most to Mourinho's methods. He agreed that the last few matches could be seen as a crucial turning point in their campaign: "I'm sure the best is still to come from the team. I think we have a good young squad and we have signed young players this season. We will get even better in the future.
"The last few games have been good and we are building momentum. I think it's normal that we needed time [to adapt to the new manager], but we are doing that. Now we have to keep going and take advantage of this victory, to keep winning. The other day against Tottenham in the second half, we believed in what we were doing. We did it again against Steaua – the results come with this way we're playing."Reuse content