Burnley vs Chelsea: Jose Mourinho says 'everything depends on space and time'

Blues boss expects to face many sides that will pack their defence

Jose Mourinho believes Chelsea must learn how to unpick opponents who throw 10 men behind the ball or miss out on the Premier League title again.

The Chelsea manager admits his Stamford Bridge side fell short in last term's Barclays Premier League title race due to a lack of final-third quality.

Mourinho believes new recruits Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa will help solve that problem, with Chelsea opening their league campaign at Burnley on Monday.

The Portuguese boss admitted Chelsea have worked extensively in pre-season on unpicking opponents who set out solely to nullify his side's threats.

"We need more quality in our football," said Mourinho.

"When you have matches with space and time it's much easier to play football.

"When you don't have space and time because a lot of football is based around tactics and systems: in a very simple way, everything depends on space and time.

"And when you don't have space and time to play, you need more quality.

"We are working exactly in that direction.

"We need more quality in our game, and we are working on that.

"We have worked on exactly that in training, expecting a team to be defensive and try to close every road to goal."

 

Last term, Mourinho's first season in his second managerial tenure at Chelsea, ended with no silverware reward.

Defeats like the galling 1-0 home reverse to relegation-battling Sunderland left Mourinho defending his top stars at the time.

Now though the Chelsea manager has conceded only sharper build-up play will allow the west London club to break their trophy deadlock.

Mourinho has admitted he will face a big test to keep both goalkeeping rivals Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois happy this term - but did not foresee similar issues in the Blues' midfield.

The Chelsea boss believes Fabregas will offer a new dimension in midfield play this term to complement a host of box-to-box runners.

The former Real Madrid and Inter manager said none of his midfielders will command automatic selection - but neither will any be out in the cold.

"That is not so tough, because we play 60 matches in a season," he said.

"In this first two weeks it's one match a week, but after that starts the cups, the Champions League and the national team.

"So you have to adapt, nobody will feel they are first or second choice.

"Mikel, Matic, Ramires, Fabregas, Schurrle, Van Ginkel: so everyone will play, everyone will feel useful, important.

"On the field we have a very good balance."

PA

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