–Jose Mourinho reckons he’s got the secret ingredient
The Chelsea boss insists his squad players thrive on the hunger of making an impression on the team when they get their chances.
And he highlights Mikel Obi’s performance against Newcastle as proof of his regime bearing fruit.
“The first time he played [from the start in the Premier League] was Newcastle and he was our best player,” Mourinho said of Mikel.
“How can he be our best player if he didn’t play in three months? Because he was working every day at the top level. Sad, frustrated, not happy? Maybe. But professional – that’s what I expect from the players.
“It’s the concept of helping the team. Everybody has to be ready to sacrifice for the team, to give everything for the team, to think about the team and not to be selfish. This is the way I want a team to be.
“The one that comes on in the last five minutes, he’s a crucial player. If he makes a mistake the team loses; if he doesn’t, the team wins. Everybody wins, everybody loses.
“I want a short squad. In a short squad, everybody is important. I need every player. And when I sign a player, I don’t say ‘it’s you plus 10’. I say ‘it’s you plus 21 or 22’.