Jose Mourinho says that Eden Hazard will be assessed for selection ahead of Sunday’s trip to Carrow Road.
The manager also expressed his delight at the team’s performance in midweek, telling journalists at his weekly pre-match press conference that his players are starting to show the desired mentality ahead of what will be a tricky test against Norwich.
The Portuguese started by giving updates on our injured trio, starting with Hazard.
‘He trained so-so today. He’s better, but let’s see tomorrow if he can be for the team. In this moment I’m not sure if he can play.
‘Marco van Ginkel was today with us for the first time, but of course in the medical room. He’s started his recovery process now.
‘Fernando (Torres) is calm. We have 15 days without matches, and after these 15 days he’ll be close to a return, if not to play against Cardiff or Schalke then for the Manchester City game.’
The Spanish striker avoided further disciplinary action from the FA this week and Mourinho reiterated that it was the right decision, again reminding the journalists in attendance that the physical nature of the English game is what makes it so popular.
‘The ban for Fernando was more than enough because the second yellow card came from a simulation. The FA defended the principles and the values of English football.’
Torres’s place in the starting line-up on Sunday could well be taken by Samuel Eto’o, who is yet to find the back of the net for the Blues. Mourinho understands that the Cameroonian is adapting not only to a new league but also to a new style of play.
‘He’s come back to the top level of European football and he needs a little bit of time to find that sharpness.
‘He’s playing a lot and he’s getting his form. He understands where he is, for an experienced player like him the Premier League is a different picture.
‘Players transform themselves over the years; they become stronger in some aspects and they lose some other qualities in other aspects.
‘With me at Inter he was playing many times wide and coming inside. I don’t think he can play the same way. He must play more as a pure number nine. Players are going to adapt in relation to their age, their position and their condition.’
Norwich come into Sunday’s game on the back of an impressive victory at Stoke, and Mourinho sees the club as one very much on the up.
‘They made a great investment this season. They had money to spend, they bought good players, players with a big future. The squad is very good. The manager is good, I like the way he coaches and the way he organises his teams.
‘Norwich are not a team to be fighting for survival, they are a team with a completely different perspective. It’s a difficult match for us, especially at home where they are normally very strong.’
At Mourinho’s last pre-match press conference, in Bucharest, he was widely reported to have ‘stormed out’ early, but he explained to the journalists querying his apparent early departure that that was not the case.
‘What people wrote was not true. I had to go for the training session, Frank Lampard was coming after me. When my last question comes I didn’t want to wait for the translation, so I stood up and I said goodbye. Maybe people understand it in the wrong way,’ he said, before joking, ‘that’s fine, it sells!’
The Portuguese finished by assessing his team’s development so far this season.
‘We have a lot to improve, a lot to work on. We will have ups and downs, I’m ready for that. After the defeat against Basel we won against Fulham, we did a fantastic second half against Tottenham, and under pressure we solved the situation in Bucharest. It looks to me like the players had a good reaction.
‘Today I was in the training session and I was feeling the way that the players were being successful in the tasks and exercises we gave them, it was showing that they breathe in a different way.
‘I like my team to be proactive and not reactive. The team was very proactive against Steaua, from the first minute we showed our mentality. The team kept going even with a 2-0 lead. This is the mentality I want.’