• Premier League

Jose backs Schwarzer to push Cech hard at Chelsea

ESPN staff
July 13, 2013
Mark Schwarzer was a surprise signing for Chelseqa © Getty Images

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said Mark Schwarzer will provide valuable competition and motivation for No.1 goalkeeper Petr Cech after handing the veteran Australian a surprise role at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho made clear that he regarded Cech as the world's best keeper, but he said the 40-year-old Schwarzer gave Chelsea extra security as a vastly experienced and highly rated back-up.

The Australia international signed on a free transfer this week after spells at Fulham and earlier at Middlesbrough and immediately jumped on the plane for Chelsea's pre-season tour of Asia.

"I always said even when I was coaching other teams that we have the best goalkeeper in the world but we need competition for him, we need protection, we need motivation," Mourinho said in Bangkok.

"We need somebody that can give us security and I think Schwarzer is perfect for that because he's a very good goalkeeper - he's very experienced.

"He spent all his career in the Premier League so the Premier League is his natural habitat so, getting a good opportunity for a free transfer, we have in Mark the goalkeeper we need to complete our group of goalkeepers."

Both Schwarzer and Cech are in the travelling party to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia along with academy keeper Jamal Blackman, who is 1.95 metres and 19.

Schwarzer's one-year contract runs until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, for which Australia are already qualified.

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has given his blessing to Schwarzer's move despite the prospect of limited playing time this season, according to reports in Australia.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd