Chelsea vs Leicester City: 'Petr Cech took being dropped for Thibaut Courtois like a top professional,' says Jose Mourinho

But Courtois is expected to start in place of Cech again tomorrow

Chief Football Correspondent

Jose Mourinho said today that Petr Cech had responded with great professionalism to being dropped for the first time in a decade against Burnley on Monday – but added that the club most come first.

The Chelsea manager is expected to pick Thibaut Courtois again tomorrow against Leicester City for his first competitive game at Stamford Bridge as a Chelsea player. There is still scope for Cech to leave before the end of the transfer window with Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain interested. Mourinho conceded that his veteran goalkeeper was not happy with his new No 2 status but that there would be more opportunities as the season got busier.

Asked about Cech, Mourinho said he had been a “top professional.” He said: “He [Cech] 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. But it's not just him. It's everyone who didn't start the game. This period is hard for them, for me, because it's a period with one match per week. So first three matches, they clearly feel that some are playing more and some don't.

 

“But come September, Capital One Cup, Premier League, Champions League, three matches a week, everyone playing, rotation, resting, decisions. That's an easier period for them and an easier period for me in the sense everyone feels much better. Now, in these first three matches, some are not playing and they feel worse. But Petr's behaviour is fantastic, and that's important.”

Thibaut Courtois is now Mourinho's No 1 Thibaut Courtois is now Mourinho's No 1 Asked whether he might have to allow players to leave, Mourinho said: “We have to think about the players, and the players deserve respect and cooperation from us as a club, but the club is the most important thing. For me, football is about club, team, players, managers ... so I am the last one in the list.

“The club is the most important thing, then the team, then the players. We cannot give players things and put them in front of the team or the club. It must always be the other way round. Every decision is about the club and the team. But, obviously, if you can make it good for club, team and also players, that's the perfect situation.”

Mourinho declined the invitation to discuss in detail Mario Balotelli’s return to English football with Liverpool. He once described the player as “unmanageable” during his time at Inter Milan. “Mario … is a Milan player and becomes a Liverpool player, I don't know. I don't want to talk about him. The only thing I say is that I always wish my former players the best, and Mario is no different.”

Mourinho said that Chelsea were injury free for their game tomorrow.

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