Mourinho: I may struggle to keep Chelsea squad happy

With 27 first-team players at his disposal and question marks over the role Juan Mata is set to play this season, the manager urged his squad to prove their worth on the pitch
Jose Mourinho has admitted he may struggle to keep the Chelsea squad happy, but urged his players to prove their merits on the pitch.

The Portuguese wasted no time in strengthening his new crop upon returning to Stamford Bridge for a second spell, making seven new signings including big-money moves for the likes of Andre Schurrle, Marco van Ginkel and Willian.

Mourinho has 27 first team players at his disposal, including a further 24 shipped out on loan, and the manager has warned his players that their on-field performances will serve as basis to further chances.

5/4 Chelsea are 5/4 with BetVictor to not win a trophy this season
"I don't know if I will keep them happy or not," Mourinho told reporters. "But I am happy because I have so many good players and because, whether doing well or wrong, I do it in an honest way.

"The way to do it in an honest way is to let them speak on the pitch. I will judge on the pitch. I will not judge on status, words, interviews, agents, parents or friends, not things in the press or on Twitter or something. I will let football speak and football decide."

One of the biggest questions which has dominated Mourinho's return to Chelsea is the role Juan Mata is set to play.

Last season's Player of the Year has been afforded just 65 minutes of action this season, and has been linked with moves to Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, but Mourinho insists he will be treated the same as any other player.

He continued: "He's in the same plans as are all the others. He's a player I trust a lot and will fight for positions like everybody else.

"The squad is good, it is competitive and with so many matches coming every three days, sometimes I will make strange decisions in your eyes but sometimes I think about the matches that are coming and leave an important player out of selection because I want to have him at his level for the next match.

"I want the players to think only about the next match but I have to think further than that as a manager."

Mourinho confirmed on Friday that summer signing Samuel Eto'o will make his debut against Everton and the manager has hailed the striker's experience and differing approach to that normally seen in English football.

"Eto'o is a player who is adapted to the style of play we want in our team, which is a bit contradictory to the general style and philosophy of the Premier League," he added.

"We are not a physical, direct team any more. We are a team that wants to use the qualities of our attacking players in a different way.

"Technically Eto'o is very good, his movement is very intelligent and he has this natural appetite for goals, so normally he will score a few goals for us. And he will also give experience to a team that from midfield to attack is very young."