Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes the arrivals of Pedro and Baba Rahman have raised morale at Stamford Bridge ahead of Sunday’s trip to West Brom.
The Premier League champions have endured a rocky start to their title defence – drawing 2-2 with Swansea City on the opening day, before going down 3-0 at Manchester City last weekend.
Mourinho’s criticism of his medical staff and the half-time withdrawal of skipper John Terry at the Etihad Stadium have also added extra unwanted headlines, but Chelsea are heavy favourites to get up and running against Tony Pulis’ side.
Rahman and Pedro could make their debuts at The Hawthorns, although Victor Moses and Oscar (knocks) remain sidelined.
“We normally train very well but this week we train better than ever. Why? Because we’re not happy with the results,” said Mourinho, who will welcome back Thibaut Courtois from suspension.
“We want to do better and the only way is to work well and better than ever, which we did this week.
“This week we got very good young left-back [Rahman] that we need. We also get one of the best attackers in the world [Pedro]. A player with lots of experience and with something I really like – a desire to leave a giant club.
“A desire to leave one of the best clubs in world, where normally when you’re there you don’t want to leave. He is loved in the club, he loves the club and he wants to leave for something more for his career.
“That is an evident sign of ambition, he wants to play every game. For many years he won everything with [Lionel] Messi, [Andres] Iniesta, with stars, but he wants more.
“I’m really happy with that kind of attitude. He comes to play, to win and to enjoy. He’s not on a holiday.”
Pulis has won his last two matches against Mourinho’s Chelsea – once in charge of Crystal Palace before a 3-0 victory for West Brom at The Hawthorns on the final day of last season.
The Welshman could hand record signing Salomon Rondon his first start as they seek to build on their 0-0 draw with Watford last weekend while Federico Fazio may be involved if he passes a medical on Friday.
Pulis and Mourinho enjoy a friendly relationship on the touchline and the West Brom boss rubbished suggestions his counterpart was overseeing a crisis.
“Crisis? There’s a crisis on at every club in the Premier League,” he joked on Friday.
“A crisis after two games. Every time you play one of the top teams [you can expect a backlash]. If they play to their level, he could have Pedro and [Eden] Hazard wide, [Diego] Costa up front – it’s not bad is it.
“They’re a fantastic team, champions elect and they deserved to win it by a country mile last year because they were that far ahead of everyone else.
“It’s wonderful for me to be in the Premier League and work against top managers, there’s no better manager in the world than Jose Mourinho and it’s a privilege.”
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