6:00am Friday 16th May 2014
By Tim Harrison
The Special One was unexpectedly chirpy as this eventful league season ended, generously declaring that the best team had won the title, and pledging to ratchet up Chelsea’s challenge for 2014/15.
Speaking at Cardiff City after the Blues defeated the relegated Welshmen 2-1, Jose Mourinho said he believed the spine of his side was sound, and that ‘a couple’ of new players would bolster the squad.
Jose described the Premier League as ‘dangerous’, as a couple of defeats can make the difference between finishing inside or outside the Champions League.
“We have to be stronger next season than we were this season; no more Chelsea v Villas, no more Chelsea v Sunderlands,” he said, referring to defeats which helped derail the Blues’ title tilt.
There were few signs of the grouchiness which enveloped him in April. Instead, Jose patiently observed that Chelsea finished four points shy of being champions, and that tweaks were required, not major surgery.
He believes Fernando Torres (under contract until summer 2016) will stay, playing alongside a new striker.
In the short term, Jose will watch some of the remaining play-offs before taking a fortnight’s holiday.
“I can’t believe I have to wait three months for my next real match,” he moaned. “The summer will be a long summer.”
Jose wants to start pre-season as soon as possible, although the World Cup will eat into his practice time.
“We can improve our killer instinct; score goals with less chances. We need a couple of players of a certain level to help the team get to a certain level,” he said.
Encouragingly, midfielder John Swift was given a late debut at Cardiff; reward for scoring 18 times for the U21s and U19s this season. Nathan Ake also made a cameo appearance, but the fact that David Luiz remained on the bench may signal his departure.
Roman Abramovich has his chequebook poised for action.
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