Singha All-Stars v Chelsea preview: Jose Mourinho eager to make winning start in first match since return
The 'Special One' wants to install a winning mentality, starting against Singha All-Stars
It was 25 July, 2004, a week short of nine years ago that Jose Mourinho’s first era at Chelsea started with a 4-2 win over Celtic in a friendly in Seattle.
Nine years on and Mourinho, Part II, starts this afternoon with his first Chelsea team of his second spell in charge lining up against Singha All-Stars in Bangkok at 2pm UK time. The ambition is the same, however, to develop what Mourinho describes as a "winning culture" where defeat is not tolerated at any level of game.
Mourinho acknowledges that today's game, the first of three in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, is not important in terms of the result but with David Moyes having been beaten here on Saturday in his first game for Manchester United there is the slightest of edges to the contest.
In the Chelsea win over Celtic almost nine years ago, there were two goals for Mateja Kezman and one each for Alexei Smertin and Eidur Gudjohnsen. This time, Mourinho has selected his old guard to start the match - John Terry, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien - and the only injury doubt in his entire squad is the young English midfielder Josh McEachran who has a groin problem and is not expected to feature. Having worked with his squad for more than a week now, Mourinho says that he already recognises the will-to-win in his squad.
Mourinho said: "Nobody likes to lose. Whenever we lose a match during the season we all say the same. Nobody is happy. That is true, so we are going to try. When I see the players competing in training, against each other, they go in hard and give everything. They fight for a result and are not happy if they lose.
"So I imagine that in the game [today], even though it is very difficult conditions because the pitch is not a good one to play football, when they get 45 minutes they will go from the first minute to the last. They will give everything the best they can.
"The winning culture starts on the training ground. It is always a competition. [Monday's] training session was about finishing and we had two teams in different finishing situations. And one was upset because the orange team won against the blue team - and it was just a finishing session.
"You bring that competition to everything you do and it becomes normal that you don't like to lose. You don't accept defeat. If you lose, you have to analyse why and that is part of a winning culture. But the game is just part of a coaching process but we will be playing for a result."
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