• Premier League

Mourinho praises Chelsea maturity

ESPN staff
December 2, 2013
Chelsea find their stride

Jose Mourinho has praised the "maturity" of his players after Chelsea came from behind to beat Southampton and close the gap to table-toppers Arsenal.

Chelsea conceded after 13 seconds when Michael Essien's mistake allowed Jay Rodriguez to slot past Petr Cech, but goals from Gary Cahill, John Terry and Demba Ba helped the West London side get the win, which moves them into second in the Premier League and now four points behind Arsenal.

And following the Champions League loss to FC Basel in midweek in the Champions League, Mourinho has hailed the spirit of his side after the early setback against the Saints.

"It's the sign of a team that's going step by step, understanding my ideas and mentality progressively. And the ones that are not complete in my mentality or philosophy are adapting progressively, feeling the responsibility that Chelsea cannot be completely out of the title race in December," Mourinho said, adding that he is targeting a tussle for the title.

"They must feel the responsibility to play for Chelsea and that was a sign of maturity today. Losing a goal after 10 seconds, they kept calm. I think my team is a team with a profile that means I can't establish targets: to say I want to win five consecutive matches, or be top of the league.

"I want to work with them, feed the young players, feed the team. And, by the time we've done that, we're there. If you are 10 or 12 points behind, you are building but not fighting for the title. If you are three or four or five, you are evolving, building but also fighting for the title."

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