John Terry points to returning boss Mourinho's training ground instruction as the sole reason the quality of pre-season practice has improved.
Chelsea defender John Terry has lauded the immediate effect returning Blues boss Jose Mourinho has had on the training ground. According to the 32-year-old, who suffered from a problematic ankle at the tail-end of last season, Mourinho has re-instilled a competitive nature during the club's tour of Asia. A training motto of train-as-you-play has brought the best out of the established guard, the youth players and new signings.
'The training is just how we like it and the manager likes it that way, and it is important you get that competitiveness,' Terry, speaking in Kuala Lumpur, informed the official Chelsea website. 'It is a big pre-season for everyone and everyone wants to be in the team at the start of the season, and that is what we are aiming for. There are new young signings too, they are obviously hungry and with points to prove and they are fighting for places as well.'
Veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, young midfielder Marco van Ginkel and promising German forward Andre Schurrle have all been added to the Stamford Bridge ranks and Terry stated that all have responded positively to Mourinho's pre-season demands.
'The new lads have settled in really well and the quality is good, and these trips [to Asia] definitely help that because you are in each other's pockets all day every day, so it is a great opportunity for them to get to know the other players.'
Terry reported for pre-season training one week ahead of schedule so that he could ready himself for a return to his personal best form. He said: 'I had the injury on my ankle at the end of last season but I came back a week early to get some extra fitness under my belt, and I think that has served me well so far in training. Everyone does their own little thing to stay fit in the summer. You tend to stay off football pitches and mainly do gym work like bikes and treadmills. Everyone keeps themselves ticking over.'
Having already seen off Singha All-Stars 1-0 in Bangkok and a Malaysia XI 4-1 in Kuala Lumpur, Chelsea now travel to Jakarta where they take on BNI Indonesia All-Stars on July 25. They conclude their pre-season travels in USA where they compete with Internazionale on August 1 and AC Milan or Valencia three days later.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald