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Mourinho blasts Chelsea understudies


MOURINHO-VITESSELONDON, October 29-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said that some of his squad players had made his team selection “easy” after they struggled to overcome fourth-tier Shrewsbury Town in the League Cup.

Chelsea booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 2-1 win on Tuesday, but it took an 81st-minute own goal by Jermaine Grandison to send them through after Andy Mangan cancelled out Didier Drogba’s opener.

Andre Schuerrle, Mohamed Salah and Filipe Luis were among the fringe players given opportunities to shine and Mourinho, who made seven changes to his starting XI, said they had failed to impress.

“I expect players to give me problems. I love problems. But a lot of them didn’t and they’ve made it easy to choose my team for Saturday,” said Mourinho, whose side host Queens Park Rangers this weekend.

“If players who played 90 minutes two days ago were fantastic, I expect people who are not playing a lot to raise the level to create me problems. They didn’t create me big problems.”

But Mourinho, who also gave a debut to right-back Andreas Christensen, was full of praise for Drogba after the 36-year-old Ivorian veteran netted his second goal in two games.

“Yes I was worried when they equalised, but we go through and Didier played a massive part in that,” said the Portuguese.

“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 (Tuesday) 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.”

Shrewsbury manager Micky Mellon praised Mourinho for the courtesy he extended to the League Two club.

“Jose was brilliant. I can’t speak about the guy highly enough and he was a perfect gentleman,” Mellon said.

“He’s done some stuff for the local kids and I had 25 minutes with him before the game and he was very complimentary about our team. He’s an example to any young manager with the way you should operate.”