Jose Mourinho puts Chelsea’s re-found steel down to a group willingness to defend more than the “small tactical adjustments” he has made.
The previously robust Premier League holders have been remarkably meek in defence this season, contributing to their miserable campaign so far.
But four clean sheets in five games – against Norwich City, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Tottenham and Porto – has revived Mourinho’s confidence, with the Bournemouth loss last weekend considered a blip.
Mourinho, who takes his side to free-scoring Leicester City on Monday night, said: “The tactical adjustments are minimal compared with the global attitude.
“I always say the same: you defend with 11 players, you have more chances to defend well.
“In this moment our team is working well and hard defensively, the attacking players are doing their job.
“When I say everybody has to defend, I’m not saying my striker has to defend a cross in the face of my goal.
“I expect my striker to put pressure on the players that are trying to make the build up.
“Everyone has a job to do and when everybody does their job, it’s easier.”
Mourinho says it is not down to specific personnel, as individuals in the starting line-up have changed in recent weeks.
“You cannot go to the faces, because the faces change and the performances are still there,” Mourinho added.
“We changed the goalkeeper (to Thibaut Courtois), but (Asmir) Begovic also had a clean sheet against Tottenham.
“You change (Cesc) Fabregas for Ramires, but with Fabregas we also had a cleansheet.
“You change (Gary) Cahill with John (Terry). With Cahill we also had clean sheets.
“So it’s not about the faces. It’s about the global attitude.
“Small tactical adjustments, but the attitude I think is the most important thing.”