Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has said that he has full confidence in his players to overcome the loss of star defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic for the trip to Newcastle United.
The Blues ace has been in superb form this season, forming a formidable central midfield partnership with Spanish international Cesc Fabregas which has created a much-talked about team balance.
Matic's leadership skills and ability to break up opposition attacks has been one of the foundations of the Stamford Bridge outfit’s early-season success which has led to a 20-game unbeaten run.
That run, however, will face a stern test at Newcastle on Saturday and the suspension of Matic leaves Mourinho with a big decision to make.
“It’s another big player who is not playing but we trust other people,” Mourinho told the official Chelsea website. “Matic has a free weekend, which he deserves very much, and he will come back stronger.
"Other people will play, we trust them so no problem. Diego was also important for us but he didn’t play [against Tottenham] and we didn’t think about him.”
The Serbian international received his fifth booking of the season for breaking up a Tottenham Hotspur counter-attack with what many described as a necessary foul.
Mourinho had no complaints when quizzed on the decision, although he now hopes that the officials show some consistency when his team are on the receiving end.
“Matic’s last yellow card was because a fellow player lost the ball and he had to make a defensive transition. Sometimes the referees give a yellow card when a player stops a counter attack, sometimes they don’t," said the Portuguese.
“Mike Dean decided to give him one, which is acceptable, I just hope that in every game when opponents make fouls on our players when we start developing counter attacks the referees do the same. When you stop a counter attack you should get a yellow card so Mike was correct.”