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
"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
"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
"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."