Champions League

Chelsea to give youth a run

2014-12-09 17:32
Jose Mourinho (AFP)

London - Chelsea may not need to change their approach after suffering their first defeat of the season at Newcastle United but that will not stop manager Jose Mourinho giving youth a chance against Sporting in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Chelsea's blistering start came to an abrupt halt on Saturday when Papiss Cisse struck twice to give Newcastle a 2-1 victory and condemn Mourinho's side to their first defeat in 24 matches.

"The defeat at Newcastle has no effect on us. I always said a defeat would arrive and not by complacency," Mourinho told reporters on Tuesday.

"I'm more than happy with my players and situation. I accept defeat is a normal situation in a championship like the Premier League.

"We don't need to change anything, we couldn't be in a better situation -- top in the Premier League, top in the Champions League group and in the last eight of the League Cup.

"The next game you want to win. We want a good result."

Chelsea have secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League after picking up 11 points from five matches, but Sporting arrive at Stamford Bridge knowing a draw would be enough to qualify from Group G if Schalke 04 fail to win in Maribor.

With a flurry of fixtures on the horizon, Mourinho has decided to rest captain John Terry and midfielders Eden Hazard and Willian, but striker Diego Costa will start against the Portuguese side despite concerns over his fitness.

Mourinho has included 18-year-old academy midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek in his squad and the coach said it was important to continue to develop young talent.

"Every manager in the world wants to bring young people up," Mourinho said.

"Go to other clubs and you see it's not easy to bring kids through from youth competitions to the top level.

"If you don't bring kids through the academy then the best thing is to close the academy. It's better to close the door and use the money to buy the players.

"The relation between first team and the academy is changing. The first time Ruben trained with me is 18 months ago. The last two to three weeks he is training every day.

"Tomorrow is Ruben's day, but it's also academy day."

Read more on:    chelsea  |  champions league  |  jose mourinho  |  soccer

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