Chelsea star Eden Hazard believes boss Jose Mourinho’s criticism is helping him realise his potential at Stamford Bridge, with the Portuguese manager being outspoken in his analysis of the Belgian international’s performances in the past, displeased particularly with the winger’s defensive effort in last season’s UEFA Champions’ League semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid.
But Hazard insists there is no problem between the pair of them and that the manager’s comments are only helping him develop into a world-class talent.
“There is a lot of respect – he is the best coach in the world – and he gives me a lot of confidence,” he told Sport Foot.
“Even after a bad match, he picks me again. He will have a little dig saying, ‘Today we played with 10 [men]’, but he stops there. He leaves me alone and does not go on at me.”
“It is the first time I have known this with a coach. The others tended to protect me. He really wants my potential to explode and he does everything to make it happen.”
“I had no fears when he came. I was just wondering if I was going to be stressed when he had a go at me.”
“I remember my first warm-up matches in Asia with him. He killed me once or twice then I thought, ‘Okay, this is the Mourinho style’. When he looks you in the eyes, you feel like the target and it doesn’t feel good at the time.”
“If you do not give 100 per cent, you know he will not let that go and it might hurt. There have already been great slanging matches in the changing room, but that stays behind closed doors.”
“It’s funny to see that – as long it’s not about you!”