Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has criticised Ruben Loftus-Cheek, after the young midfielder put in a lacklustre display during the post-season friendly against Sydney.
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On the night, a strong Blues side – including the likes of Petr Cech, John Terry, and Eden Hazard – managed to scrape a 1-0 win thanks to a stunning strike from Loic Remy.
And it was another of their first-team regulars – Diego Costa – that was substituted off after only 40 minutes to allow the 19-year-old to take to the pitch. However, his own part in the game was even shorter, as he was replaced after just 28 minutes.
According to the club’s official website, Mourinho was irritated by the youngster’s efforts, and had no problem making an example of him despite the nature of the game.
“Ruben said he had a pain in his back but what I was feeling was that he only had the pain when Sydney had the ball. When Chelsea had the ball he was playing very well, but when Sydney had the ball I think he was more impressed by watching Matic and Mikel work, instead of him working,” he said.
Despite the midfielder breaking into the first-team during the latter stages of their Premier League title-winning campaign, Mourinho seemed to question whether Loftus-Cheek has a future at Stamford Bridge if he continues to put in below-par performances.
“So, with Ruben, it’s one step back in terms of my relationship with him. If he doesn’t know what it is to play for me and Chelsea it’s one step back,” he added.
“I don’t accept that when he’s playing in midfield with Mikel and Matic when we don’t have the ball he doesn’t press, doesn’t have intensity and he’s waiting for everybody else to recover the ball. I don’t accept that in the superstars so how can I accept that in a kid? He has to learn what it takes to play for us,” Mourinho insisted.