- Premier League
Mourinho threatens flaky player clearout
Jose Mourinho has threatened to clear out Chelsea's flaky stars after suggesting some of them are only comfortable playing in high-profile matches.
Chelsea's misfiring forwards failed to score in the shock defeat to relegation-threatened Crystal Palace on Saturday and, after admitting his side's title charge was all but over, Mourinho underlined his determination to revamp his frontline options.
The club recently stepped up their efforts to sign Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa in order to improve their striking options, .
Beware the Anfield roar!
- Jose Mourinho may have ruled his team out of the title race but his Premier League rivals are not so sure while key games remain.
- Two of those clashes will involve Chelsea and Manchester City playing at Liverpool, whose manager Brendan Rodgers says his fans will play a key part in which team are crowned champions.
- Find out how they have fared at Anfield in recent years here
Demba Ba and Fernando Torres have already talked about with moves away from Stamford Bridge but Mourinho spelled out his intentions anyway.
"It is clear to everybody that Chelsea next year want to bring a striker," he said. "What's the future for the others? The ones who are staying are competing with the striker we are bringing in.
"It is normal at the end of the season if players who are not playing a lot or players who are not happy and prefer a change will go. That is also part of the market. We want to improve the team and the players and make some surgical movements in the transfer window. It is also clear we want to improve our players.
"I can't and I don't need to improve [Ivan] Ivanovic, [Gary] Cahill or [John] Terry, but there are others I need to improve. We are doing that step by step. But that's not enough to be champions."
Mourinho says his star players have no problems getting motivated for matches such as their Champions League quarter-final first leg trip to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday - it is less glamourous away games in England, with Crystal Palace a prime example, they struggle with.
"Paris is the kind of match they feel comfortable to play," Mourinho said. "It is a big match in a great stadium against opponents of top quality and a referee who stops the game and doesn't let aggression into the game. I prefer the English ones but normally this is the profile of referee in UEFA competitions.
"I do not need to do a lot. They will be fine. They will be in their natural habitat in that match. They can do a good match there."
However, in contrast to the consistent spirit Brendan Rodgers boasts at title rivals Liverpool, the Portuguese says some of his players have struggled to deal with the pressure of playing in tricky Premier League clashes.
"The easiest thing to do is to perform when you are not playing for something big," Mourinho said. "If, in the last part of the season, we have an unbelievable performance and some player is going to perform in a beautiful way, that's easy.
"The difficult thing is to perform when you feel the heat. Because of that some are big and some are not so big."