English Premiership

Chelsea welcome back Hazard

2013-11-08 16:55
Eden Hazard (AP)

London - Jose Mourinho insists Eden Hazard will be welcomed back into his Chelsea squad to face West Bromwich Albion after punishing the midfielder for missing training this week.

But while Mourinho admits he took a risk in dropping Hazard, he insists he was forced to act to maintain discipline within his squad.

Hazard was left out of the squad to face Schalke on Wednesday after the player lost his passport on an unauthorised trip to watch former club Lille.

That meant the Belgian failed to return in time for training on Monday morning - and led to the manager taking action.

Mourinho said on Friday: "It was a simple story. He went to foreign country when he shouldn't have and then lost his passport which meant he couldn't get back for training,. That was unacceptable but it's over.

"I think he has reacted well because he apologised to me and to the club. Of course apology not accepted because was something I couldn't accept.

"But it's over. Now it's something that doesn't exist anymore. He's selected and ready to play. I believe he has appetite to play because he loves to play and I didn't allow him to play. He's happy he's back.

"You have to assume was a bit of a risk not to select him for the last match, in pure football terms, because he could've helped us win an important match.

"But sometimes as a manager you have to take risks if you feel the consequences for the group are very important and this was an important decision.

"It was a normal decision but there will be no more consequences. The consequence was not to play, which is worst thing you can to do a player. Now it's case over - he's a very good kid."

And the manager added: "Every player knows me and knows my reaction, my decision. For me the group is always more important than any player.

"The group principles are more important than even the result. Every player knew I wouldn't select him but they also know that it's over."

Chelsea will face West Brom without striker Fernando Torres who has a groin strain but is expected to return after the international break.

Mourinho will expect his side to maintain the form they showed in beating Schalke and bounce back after their shock defeat at Newcastle last weekend in the Premier League.

The manager criticised his players heavily and admits they saw a different side to him for the first time this season.

He said: "At Newcastle my feeling was not good from first minute. So for new ones, working with me for first time, maybe the first time they felt me, really.

"I don't want to be scary, just to influence their mentality and make them stronger, tougher, more professional and more ambition, not to hide under couple of good results.

"Good results have to motivate you to get the next result. My objective not to scare but make them strong. If they have the right mentality, like Schalke, I will make them stronger."

And he added: "They knew this would be an important week. The way we work, the way we speak. They know clearly what I want.

"The good thing is that was a reaction and coped with the defeat. If lose twice it's hard, as happened Everton and Basel, when we were scared against Fulham, the ball like fire at our feet.

"This time we lost, recovered well, put ourselves in good position in Champions League. This result and performance, not spectacular but solid, comes at the right moment."


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