I’ll keep Haz Eden in right direction
JOSE MOURINHO insists that Eden Hazard is not yet the finished article.
Belgium playmaker Hazard, 22, had an inconsistent first season at Chelsea last year following his £32million move from Lille.
The youngster started and finished well – but his form dipped around the turn of the year.
Hazard looked to be at his very best, though, during the first half of Chelsea’s opening day win against Hull.
And while Mourinho believes the player can go right to the top, he also warned of the risk of failing to deliver on his talent.
The manager said: “I want more responsibility and more ambition from him.
“When you are a normal player you have to be happy if you perform OK.
“But when you are a top talent you can’t waste that talent.
“I think at his talent level Eden is somebody above others.
“I want to give him that responsibility and ambition for the kid to be better and better and to express himself on the pitch match after match.
“Not to be up and down but to always be at the top of his game because he has the conditions to be a top player.
“This is what I want. Whether I can get it, I don’t know, but he is working very, very hard. I’m very happy with the kid.”
Mourinho must decide whether to include veteran Frank Lampard in tonight’s clash with Villa.
Lamps hit a screamer of a free-kick against Hull, but Mourinho says the 35-year-old must now manage his body.
He said: “The crazy Lamps who wants to play every minute of a League Cup match against a team from the Championship, or the crazy Frank who wants to break the record of appearances and play in every minute of every match, is not here any more.
“We have to be clever and intelligent and protect these players who are over 30.”
Villa boss Paul Lambert admits he left owner Randy Lerner feeling physically sick after last year’s 8-0 thrashing at Chelsea.
The Scot’s young guns return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since their humiliation last December.
And Lambert has hailed the support of Lerner and chief exec Paul Faulkner, insisting he never thinks back to that day.
Lambert said: “I speak to Randy every week. He is always really supportive.
“But he probably says one thing, then goes away and vomits!
“He has been great, he really has.”