By FOX Sports Staff
Mourinho returns to Chelsea with several of his former players such as Frank Lampard and John Terry still at the club despite being frequently dropped by Rafa Benitez last season.
The Portuguese has, however, made it clear to his Stamford Bridge charges that performance will be the factor he relies on when picking his first team - not past reputation, as he has shown at Real Madrid when he dropped first-choice goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
"I am a coach who looks for a meritocracy," Mourinho told Punto Pelota.
"Whoever I think is best must play - without looking at status or the past. You play as you train, it is a normal situation.
"As it was normal for me to leave [Marco] Materazzi, a mythical player at Inter, on the bench.
"Or like Benitez this year at Chelsea with Terry.
"The fans can think that Iker is better than Diego [Lopez]. I accept that, but I am the coach. If they play or not, that is a problem for the player."
Mourinho has yet to make any major decisions since returning to Chelsea on Monday and is expected to open talks with Terry for a contract extension soon with the defender's deal running out at the end of this season.