English Premiership

Terry lauds Mourinho's impact

2013-09-13 07:40
Jose Mourinho (AFP)

Liverpool - Chelsea captain John Terry believes manager Jose Mourinho has instilled a unity in the dressing room that will drive the club's Premier League title challenge.

Mourinho's side face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday as they attempt to extend an impressive start that has delivered two home victories and a valuable point at Manchester United.

Victory over Roberto Martinez's side will move the Blues to the head of the early league table, one point above Liverpool, who travel to Swansea City 48 hours later.

And it already seems clear that the atmosphere around the club has been transformed from last season, when interim coach Rafael Benitez failed to appease sections of fans despite guiding Chelsea to success in the Europa League.

"We are looking fit and very much together and Jose brings that," Terry said.

"It is us against everyone else, and I think that is what made us when he was here before and we are very much the same again.

"His man-management is excellent and he makes people want to play for him. He has it spot-on. If there was a managerial manual, he would tick every box. We are delighted to have him back. He has come home and all the players feel the same."

Terry shares his manager's belief that there are no outstanding favourites to win the championship but believes Mourinho's track record of clinching back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 will tip the balance in Chelsea's favour.

Between the four or five big teams, it probably will go to the wire," Terry said.

"But hopefully what we know about Jose and what Jose knows about the Premier League will make the difference."

Since their last outing at Old Trafford, Mourinho has added former Anzhi Makhachkala pair Willian and Samuel Eto'o to his squad, although Terry suggests neither is likely to be involved against Everton.

The Chelsea captain said: "Samuel's looked really sharp in training so far, and so has Willian.

"You speak to them and they talk about how the intensity of their training (in Russia) is a lot different to how it is here, so for sure it will take them a few weeks to get their full fitness, but once they do, they'll both look very good."

Chelsea will face an Everton side including midfielder Ross Barkley, who made his England debut in the 4-0 victory over Moldova in World Cup qualifying last week at the age of just 19.

But Everton manager Martinez is confident the youngster will not allow his rapid elevation to the national side to deflect his focus.

"Ross is really satisfied and excited about what's happened," said Martinez. "The good thing about Ross is that he never gets carried away, nothing fazes him.

"In the same way that he was really excited about going away and playing for the England senior team first time, he is excited about playing against Chelsea.

"He wants to keep growing and learning. He's a terrific listener and that's quite rare for a young footballer these days.

"You see Ross and what he's capable of doing in the future. He is a young man with incredible potential and we need to make sure he has a terrific career."

Everton are still without midfielder Darron Gibson and defender Antolin Alcaraz due to injury.


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