Mourinho wants more in front of goal

Jose Mourinho is demanding Chelsea develop a ruthless streak in front of goal to avoid the feeling of panic which can set in when a side is struggling to kill off opponents.

Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea

Chelsea are within sight of Christmas Day at the Barclays Premier League summit after Saturday's 2-1 defeat of Crystal Palace saw Mourinho's men move two points behind their next opponents Arsenal.

"The base of our game is to kill opponents by scoring goals, because we don't want to go in the direction of being a more defensive team," Mourinho said.

"This is the easy direction to go: to build a team, to close the team, to make it compact, to wait for a goal, waiting for a counter-attack.

"This is not what we want to do and because it's not what we want to do, the way to kill opponents is to score goals."

Arsenal earlier on Saturday lost 6-3 at Manchester City, who are demonstrating a clinical cutting edge, particularly at home.

But asked if Chelsea should be more like City, Mourinho said: "Man City is one point behind us, so they need to be more like us."

Chelsea beat City in October, when Fernando Torres scored his most recent Premier League goal prior to his opening strike against Palace.

But Mourinho is eager Chelsea show the ruthlessness of a team like City, who also netted six against another title rival, Tottenham.

"When you don't kill opponents playing well, when in the game you have bad moments - because you always have bad moments in the game - you are in trouble," Mourinho added.

"You put yourself into trouble and you panic a little bit. When you lose possession of the ball or when they get a free-kick or when they get a corner or when they put a long ball in the box, you shake. And because you shake, you make mistakes."

Torres put Chelsea in front, but Marouane Chamakh equalised before Ramires gave the Blues a 2-1 half-time lead they could not build on.

Had Chelsea taken a two-goal lead, Mourinho believes life would have been so much easier.

Mourinho has not hidden his frustrations with a Chelsea strikeforce which has netted a grand total of five Premier League goals - one for Demba Ba, two for Samuel Eto'o and now two for Torres.

The poacher's goal which Torres netted is "the kind of goal we expect from him" said Mourinho after appraising the striker's performance.

"He was the Torres that we know," Mourinho said.

"Without the ball he presses a lot and he's not a comfortable opponent.

"When the team has the ball he's the kind of guy that makes movements and tries to open space.

"When he has the ball on his feet with the back to the goal, he's not a very skilful player, we know that.

"In their goal, he lost the ball when he dropped back to the midfield. He's not that player. But he does his contribution."

Mourinho on Friday dismissed comparisons of Chelsea's strikers with City's Sergio Aguero or Liverpool's Luis Suarez, both of whom are enjoying prolific seasons.

He does not expect the same from Torres et al.

Mourinho added: "We are not saying 25 or 30 (goals a season) because our strikers are not these kind of killers, but two goals for each one of them is too short (few)."

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis believes returning to the pack, rather than being cast adrift at the foot of the table, has boosted his side's January recruitment bid.

Pulis said: "We need to bring a few in because we're very, very short on numbers that can affect changes.

"If we hadn't picked up points it would have been more difficult to convince the powers that be to spend a little money.

"We've got some tough games: Newcastle, Villa and Man City.

"If we can get through those games and pick a few points up that'll keep things bubbling over for that opportunity to bring a few in."

Any January arrival must apply themselves, like Chamakh, who has scored in three successive games for Palace, has done.

Pulis said: "Chamakh's a good player, technically excellent and he's worked hard. He's endeared himself to the group and to our supporters.

"He works his socks off without the ball and he's endeared himself to the rest of the group. When players with ability are prepared to put a shift in, the players who are maybe not as gifted feel a responsibility to work."



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