Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech believes Jose Mourinho’s appetite for success is undiminished at the beginning of his second spell as manager at Stamford Bridge.
After becoming the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history between June 2004 and September 2007, which included the Blues’ first championship in 50 years, Mourinho won the Champions League at Inter Milan and punctuated the Barcelona hegemony at Real Madrid by winning the 2011/12 Primera Division.
Cech’s arrival at Chelsea in 2004 coincided with Mourinho’s and the goalkeeper believes the Special One is eager for more glory.
“Jose Mourinho can’t be more hungry,” said Cech, who was speaking at an adidas Blue Pitch project in Kuala Lumpur during the club’s tour of Asia.
“He didn’t come back to enjoy his life. We are all here to try to prepare and to try to win things together.
“He’s the same (as before). The motivation is the same, the hunger for success is the same and you can see that the demand he has for the team is the same.
“He wants to be the best, we would like to be the best – let’s see if we can fulfil our expectations.”
Mourinho has been successful wherever he has managed and won the Europa League and Champions League at Porto before moving to Stamford Bridge nine years ago.
Champions League success was elusive for the Portuguese at Chelsea, but the club did lift the most prestigious title in European club competition in 2012.
However, the Blues last season suffered the ignominy of becoming the first holders to exit the competition at the group stages, before lifting the Europa League, while their last Premier League title was in 2010.
Managers have been hired and fired since Mourinho’s departure and the Portuguese has spoken of the need for stability and his wish to be in west London long-term.
“We need trophies (for stability),” Cech said.
“If we fulfil our targets, for sure we will keep the same manager.
“We will have a go. We will try to win as much as we can. We will count the trophies at the end of the season.
“A club of the size of Chelsea Football Club, you need to target as best as possible and see if you can make it or not.
“Last season we won the Europa League; it was the first time the club had played in the competition and we managed to win it.
“It was a successful campaign, but obviously our target is to play better in the Champions League than we did last season.
“If we can challenge the teams to win it, we will try to do it.”
Chelsea have won the Premier League once since Mourinho’s exit, but the competition is not necessarily a bigger priority than any other.
Cech said: “We always want to win the Premier League. The last two campaigns in the Premier League were not the ones we wanted and we want to do better.”
Three players have been signed since Mourinho’s return last month – Andre Schurrle, Marco van Ginkel and Mark Schwarzer, the former Middlesbrough and Fulham goalkeeper.
The Australian has a strong Premier League pedigree and Cech knows he must be at his best to retain his place.
Cech said: “We brought Mark in. Everybody knows he’s one of the best goalkeepers you can get. He’s a goalkeeper who can play every time.”
Back-up goalkeepers Ross Turnbull and Hilario left Chelsea this summer after their contracts were not renewed, although there has been speculation the latter might re-sign.
Cech insists that although his place has long seemed secure to outsiders, it has not been the case.
The Czech Republic international said: “I’m always under pressure. You, the media, underestimated the situation at Chelsea in the last three years with Ross Turnbull and Hilario.
“You have no idea what you’re talking about in terms of goalkeepers, because everyone was saying ’we need better back-up’.
“You’ve never seen them training, you’ve never seen them working.
“There are many goalkeepers playing at different teams who don’t have the quality of Hilario and Turnbull.
“They kept me always under pressure. I did my best always to play and I did so.
“Ross wanted to play, so that’s why he tried his luck and I think he will have a successful season with someone else.”