Ryan Bertrand has hailed the impact Jose Mourinho’s return has had on Chelsea, claiming it has restored a winning mentality in the players.
The Special One led the Blues to two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, and although his successors have also enjoyed success, none have come anywhere near to matching his popularity.
So there was much cause for celebration in the summer, when the 50-year-old quit Spanish giants Real Madrid to return to the English capital on a four-year contract.
Mourinho has guided Chelsea to second in the Premier League during the early stages of his second coming, yet he has, perhaps predictably, wasted little time in courting controversy. On Saturday he was sent to the stands during the 4-1 home win against Cardiff City, after being involved in a spat with referee Anthony Taylor over time-wasting.
This was not the first time in his career he has been dismissed from his technical area, and he will now likely face a touchline ban. However, Bertrand, who deputised for Ashley Cole against the Canaries, believes this merely shows how passionate Mourinho is about the club, and as a result this is inspiring the players to perform for him on the pitch.
“The manager has shown his spirit and desire,” said the fullback. “He did not deserve to be sent off but it’s good to see that passion. It definitely inspires the team. At home you need to make it your fortress, and you need to do everything you can to win. After he got sent off, if you looked around, he had the whole squad behind him and the fans.
“That Mourinho spirit is back now. That was one of the things that left Chelsea when he left. We never thought about losing. We were Chelsea and we are going to win. No matter how pretty, ugly, whatever, we knew we were going to win. That’s something that has been instilled into us again.”