Mourinho 'proud' of Chelsea respect

BY foxsports • February 24, 2010

Jose Mourinho feels he helped many of Chelsea's players become what they are and reckons that makes him a respected man in their dressing room.

Mourinho, who quit as Chelsea boss in September 2007, seems to be missing life in England as his time in charge of Inter Milan begins to turn sour, and he was happy to spend most of Tuesday's press conference reminiscing about life at Stamford Bridge.

Players like Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and John Terry thrived under Mourinho, who believes he helped make them into the players they are today.

"Did I give them a contribution? They say yes and I think so," he said.

"I thank them because they never forget to say some nice words about me, but if they continue to play at this level, it is up to them because they work hard day after day.

"When I speak with somebody at the club, they always say that the culture of working very hard every day didn't change (since I left).

"The players kept a strong mentality and, as the years are going by, they are all like port wine - the older the better."

His close relationship with Drogba was a particularly poignant example of how Mourinho, despite his robust exterior, earns and enjoys the respect of those who know him best.

That respect will be put to one side for 90 minutes when Inter and Chelsea take to the field at the San Siro on Wednesday night, however.

"The most beautiful thing in football for a coach I believe is the respect from players and from the supporters of his own club," continued Mourinho.

"And that happens with me all the time. It happened in Porto, In Chelsea and in Inter and that makes me proud.

"What Didier keeps saying about myself makes me very, very proud, but I know what will happen tonight.

"I know that tonight he will break his legs for his team, and his team is Chelsea.

"On the other bench is a friend and somebody whom he admires, but somebody with different objectives to his own.

"I know that during the game he will give everything and that makes me also proud because that is the education I give to players. That's his education and profile and I'll be happy to see him."

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