Chelsea vs Leicester City reaction: Jose Mourinho taking Chelsea improvement 'step-by-step'

The Blues won 2-0 yesterday after overcoming the resilient visitors

Jose Mourinho feels Chelsea have plenty of room for improvement despite making a perfect start to the new Barclays Premier League season - but he is happy to take things "step by step".

The Blues needed more than an hour to finally break down the resistance of a well-organised Leicester side, looking to make their own statement after a decade out of the top flight.

Read more: Match report - Chelsea 2 Leicester 0
Mourinho says weather made team lazy
Cahill could be England captain

Mourinho had slammed his team as "lazy" in a first half which saw them create few chances, before they rallied, but only after Foxes striker David Nugent had seen a one-on-one chance saved by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, again picked ahead of Petr Cech.

The Chelsea boss was pleased with the response, Oscar hitting the post and £32million striker Diego Costa then scoring his second goal in as many games with a smart close-range finish just after the hour.

Eden Hazard then stroked in a second on 77 minutes which killed off any hope of a comeback by last season's Sky Bet Championship winners.

Mourinho had opted to switch to afternoon training sessions this week in a bid to avert any lethargy from the traditional August sunshine, which failed to materialise.

The Portuguese coach feels things are moving in the right direction and Chelsea can soon find another level when the fixtures start to come thick and fast once the Capital One Cup and Champions League campaigns begin.

"I know that we need to work and improve, especially on the intensity of our game, which I want to be higher defensively," said Mourinho.

"But at the same time I know pre-season was not perfect and we need to go step by step.

"For example, Willian played a fantastic 20 minutes, showing he is coming along, but if I play him from the beginning, his answer would not be the same, also with Ramires.

"I know some players are at the top of their form, like (Branislav) Ivanovic, you can see clearly he is completely ready, and by the other way you can see some players are still up and down, have moments where they lose intensity and creativity.

"But I think this is the beginning of the season, we go step by step."

 

Leicester's fate is unlikely to be sealed by results at the title contenders, rather what they are able to do against the sides set to contest the battles in the other half of the table.

The Foxes will get some respite when they host Shrewsbury in their midweek cup tie, before preparing for the visit of Arsenal next Sunday.

Manager Nigel Pearson - whose side drew 2-2 with Everton on the opening day and host Manchester United soon after the international break - accepts Leicester have little time to get used to their new surroundings.

"It was always going to be the key factor, whether we could (learn)," said Pearson.

"We don't set standards low, it is whether you are able to adapt quick enough.

"Our performances have suggested we are a very capable side with some very good individual players, but our main strength is, as it was last season, our collective spirit and belief.

"The game at Chelsea shows what a difficult league this is to operate in, but I have every confidence in my players, I have no doubts about that."

Pearson admits Leicester could do with a couple of extra bodies to improve his options.

Midfielder Dean Hammond was forced off at Chelsea after suffering severe cramp while Danny Drinkwater and Matty James are still not yet match fit.

A potential deal to bring in Argentina midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, a free agent after leaving Inter Milan, has stalled, but the Foxes will continue to work right up to the closure of the window on September 1.

"It has been a very problematical window for us, but we have tried to get deals done and we will endeavour to add to the squad," Pearson added.

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen