x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

The Portuguese manager says he is working on changing his side's style of play, and poor results will not put him off completing his objective.

Jose Mourinho has seen his Chelsea side lose their last two games. Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Photo
Jose Mourinho has seen his Chelsea side lose their last two games. Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Photo

Jose Mourinho insisted yesterday that he will not abandon plans to transform Chelsea’s playing style in a bid to produce an immediate end to their alarming early season dip.

The Chelsea manager accepts that he must face criticism after four games without a win, including defeats by Everton and Basel in the London club’s last two outings.

Speaking ahead of the visit of Fulham to Stamford Bridge for today’s west London derby, he maintained he’d been charged by club owner Roman Abramovich with changing the team’s approach.

Mourinho was adamant that he would not alter that agenda for a quick-fix solution.

“When you want to build something different than the players are adapted to and comfortable with, it’s more difficult,” he said.

“The easiest thing is for a manager to arrive in a club and not to change, to go in the same direction. Or to keep something and buy a couple of players better than what he had previously. Everything is going in the same direction.

“But if you want to do something different, there is a period where — I understand that, if the results are not good, people will question the direction you go — but it’s up to me to determine the direction we’re going.

“If people expect us to play against Fulham — because we need to win, we need a victory — and play with a low block, nine behind the ball, waiting for Fulham to make a mistake, score a goal on the counter-attack, then I’m not going in that direction.”

Mourinho, now in his second spell as manager at Stamford Bridge, insisted the time to evaluate his return to Chelsea would be at the end of the season, not in September.

“I don’t like the way Chelsea were playing in the last couple of years,” he said. “The club doesn’t like it.

“We want to change. We have the players with the profile to change. We want to play a different style.

“I don’t want to defend as a low block. I don’t want central defenders playing in midfield. I don’t want long balls to a lonely striker. I don’t want to do that.”

While acknowledging that he and his coaching staff have work to do, Mourinho laughed off suggestions put to him by the media that he and the team were in crisis as he put the losses to Basel and Everton into context.

“The first thing I have to say is that we lost nothing,” he said.

“We didn’t finish third in the Champions League group. We didn’t get relegated to the Europa League. And we didn’t finish third in the Premier League. We lost one match in the Premier League.”

Mourinho also admitted he is still working to establish his best line-up as he attempts to adapt the club’s players into his preferred system for the season ahead.

“Some players, with their performances, say to me: this is my place. Don’t touch me. This is the way I play.

“Some other players don’t perform in a way where they can take doubts out of me.

“For some positions, I would say no doubts this player in this moment is first choice. In other positions, I need more information to decide well.”