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Mourinho Blasts Fringe Players Following Shrewsbury Win

  • BBC Sport, Wednesday, October 29, 2014 1:10 PM

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho criticized his fringe players for not taking their chance to impress him following the Blues’ narrow 2-1 win in the League Cup fifth round at Shrewsbury on Tuesday, in which he handed rare starts to youngsters Nathan Ake, 19, Kurt Zouma, 20, Andreas Christiansen, 18, and Mohamed Salah, who was signed for 11 million pounds ($17.7 million) last January. "I expect people that have not been playing a lot to raise their level and create problems," the Portuguese said, adding: "I love problems of choice, but it's easy to choose my team for Saturday."

Mourinho then went on to praise his veterans for leading the team to victory: "I also had people like [goalkeeper] Petr Cech and [midfielder Jon Obi] Mikel ... they came here today and gave a fantastic example. After that there are the young boys and they have to follow the spirit and the professionalism of the others."

He reserved special praise for striker Didier Drogba, who scored the first goal and contributed to the second: "I was worried when they equalized but we go through and Didier played a massive part in that," Mourinho said. "Hopefully he will be good for the weekend but we will have to see because right now his character is stronger than his body. Maybe what he has done today is through his character -- not his body. That's what makes players special and any of the young players lucky enough to play alongside him, learn from that."

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