Jose Mourinho admits this particular Chelsea team lacks the "maturity and personality" to face adversity head-on after the Blues crashed to a 2-1 defeat at home to FC Basel in the Champions League.
Chelsea players Frank Lampard, Marco Van Ginkel, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill are disappointed after Mohamed Salah's goal for Basel in the Champions League, September 18
Chelsea were seemingly on their way to a 1-0 win over the Swiss side, courtesy Oscar's goal, when two strikes in the space of ten minutes - from Mohamed Salah and Marco Streller -- changed the complexion of the game completely.
It was a second straight defeat for Mourinho's boys with Chelsea failing to find an answer at Goodison Park at the weekend in the English Premier League.
Mourinho had earlier acknowledged that this was not the same Chelsea team that he managed with so much success the first time out, and the Portuguese believes this young side requires a lot of work before they can be considered as good as the 2004-07 vintage.
"The team is not one with maturity and personality to face the difficult moments in the game," Mourinho said.
"Against Everton we played amazingly and they scored in the last second of the half and, after that, you could feel the team was struggling despite dominating the game. This was a bit the same.
"The team started accepting the responsibility of playing, addressing the opponent and trying to create and, when the first negative moment arrived -- the equaliser -- the team shakes a little bit. But the only thing you can do is work.
"We go home very sad, the supporters go home very sad but tomorrow we have to go to training and to prepare for the next match. It's the only way I know in football: work hard, believe in what you are doing, believe in each other, be critical inside to try and resolve things inside our group, stick together and try and get a result against Fulham on Saturday that wakes up the team for a smile."
Mourinho handed a debut to Willian while Samuel Eto'o started his first European game as a player. The Chelsea manager felt the Brazilian did well against Basel but admitted Eto'o still has a long way to go before reaching his best.
"In a simple sentence, William had a positive game," Mourinho observed.
"Samuel maybe lacked sharpness and this doesn't surprise really when you are some years in a place that doesn't motivate you and you are out of the big stage, maybe you're there not for the right reasons and you lose huger and appetite.
"Now he has that back, he has that motivation, he wants to succeed and play and is happy to be at this level.
"He is participating a lot in the collective game. For the sharpness and the click to score, we have to wait but he is a great player and he will score goals.
"I am happy with these three strikers for the rest of the season. They are good players and professionals, and try to give their best to the team and the happy moment will arrive."
It has now become painfully clear that Mourinho does not rate Juan Mata, as the club player of the year for the last two seasons was left on the bench yet again.
Whether Mata would have made a difference in the first half, where Chelsea failed to unlock the Basel defence until the final moments of is of course debatable, but there is little doubt that the Blues have looked a much better side with the former Valencia man in the team over the last couple of years.
Mourinho must also be surely concerned about his striking options, with Eto'o looking like a pale shadow of the player that was so successful with Barcelona and Inter Milan, while Fernando Torres and Demba Ba have yet to hit any sort of heights this season.
"When we lose, I don't speak about players, I don't speak about individuals," he said. "I speak about my responsibility and I'm happy with the three strikers I have for the rest of the season. I'm happy.
"The players are good players, they're good professionals, they're trying their best every match. I can't complain about any of the three. They try and give their best whenever they are on the pitch.
"We lost three points that we must get somewhere else -- at Basel, Schalke or Bucharest, or all of them or some of them.
"The objective of finishing top two in the group stage and to go to the next phase is an objective that is not lost, far from it, and it is an objective that we are going to fight for. It is an objective that I believe very much that we are going to achieve."
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