Jose Mourinho is more concerned that Fernando Torres keeps working hard for the team, rather than the Spaniard to have his confidence impacted by whether his scoring run continues. After struggling throughout his Chelsea career, Torres has shown signs of life in recent weeks having followed up his brace against Schalke by scoring a late winner against Manchester City last week. Mourinho has been credited by many for the turnaround, but he instead puts all the credit with the player.
“I repeat I did nothing,” he said, according to Chelsea’s official website. “I did what I always do in trying to get the best out of the players, but in a very normal way. Fernando is responsible for his self-motivation and his commitment and the way he is working every day.
“I don't want Fernando to be influenced by these wins. I want him to be stable and not worried about proving himself or worried about scoring or not scoring. Against Newcastle he just needs to work for the team.”
Torres wasn’t used on Tuesday night as a Chelsea team featuring 10 changes made it six wins in a row in all competitions by beating Arsenal 2-0 in the Capital One Cup. The performance illustrated the strength in depth of Chelsea’s squad and Mourinho admitted to difficulties in having to leave certain players on the sidelines.
“It is a bad feeling because it is not easy for me to leave some players at home and it is not easy for me to leave some players on the bench, because everyone deserves to play,” he said.
“To have all the choices is a good problem, and to have all the players playing well and very much committed and with the group is fantastic, but to be the man responsible for saying you don't play or you are on the bench, is at this moment very hard because I feel I am unfair to all of the ones I am not selecting.”
After falling to a derby defeat against Sunderland last weekend, Newcastle suffered another disappointment by crashing out of the League Cup to Manchester City courtesy of two extra-time goals. Things might well have been different had Papiss Cisse taken a clear-cut chance to put Newcastle ahead, but the striker’s poor form in front of goal continued. Manager Alan Pardew remains hopeful that Cisse will rediscover the goal-scoring touch he displayed when first joining the club, and cites Torres as an example of how quickly things can turn around.
"I think it affected Papiss, that particular chance," he told NUFCTV. "He always gives everything for us but that seemed to hurt him, that he didn't take that chance.
"He wasn't quite the same after that. But that's what it's like for strikers and he's got to keep going. And if there's ever an example of coming out of this spell, it's Torres who's suddenly come alive. We've got to hope that happens for Papiss."
D: Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon
M: Sissoko, Tiote, Cabaye
Gouffran, Ben Arfa, Remy
D: Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole
M: Ramires, Lampard
Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard
Prediction: Not only will Newcastle have to recover from successive painful defeats, but several players will also have to physically recuperate from playing 120 minutes less than 72 hours before taking the field on Saturday. They will also be meeting a Chelsea side that, while still not hitting top gear, are playing with a steeliness and efficiency that is so characteristic of Mourinho’s teams. With Torres’ improved form, they also have a presence up front to compliment the array of creativity behind. An away win looks on the cards.
Newcastle 0-2 Chelsea
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League match will kick off at 8.45 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by the NBC Sports Network, with a live stream available on NBC Sports Live Extra.