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Football Africa
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Mourinho: No favours for old guard

Jose Mourinho has said his Chelsea old guard will not receive preferential treatment after his return to Stamford Bridge.

• Jose is 'the happy one'
• Palmer: The Abramovich Years
• Brewin: Back at the Bridge
• Mourinho in quotes

Mourinho, beginning his second stint as Blues boss, said players such as John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Petr Cech would not be dealt with any differently to other members of the squad he is taking over.

"Of course there are still a few boys here from my time," he added. "It is always good to go back and see these people, who gave absolutely everything to me when I was here.

"But it's important to tell you - not them, because they know - that there is no privilege for them.

"They know my nature. They don't have an advantage in relation to the other people. After I left, Chelsea did very well to get these young boys with great potential, great ability and a great future, and I look forward to trying to improve them.

"I know the personality and the profile of the Lampards, Terrys, Cechs who worked with me previously, and they have great quality in football terms. They are very important for the balance and the development of the younger players."

He said he hoped to "add a couple of new players to improve the squad, increase the competitiveness" but stressed that his main aim was to get the most out of the players already at Stamford Bridge.

The former Real Madrid coach said his apparent bust-up with Madrid captain Iker Casillas last season showed he did not bow to reputations when picking teams.

"If someone has big stature, profile and career, I cannot give him a privilege," he said. "It was simply a pure footballing decision. I decided for one player and not the other, and it's up for the players to accept it or not and the media and supporters to accept it or not.

"As a manager, all my decisions are based on meritocracy. After that, I can sleep well."

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