Chelsea can’t afford to rest Eden Hazard, admits Jose Mourinho
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho admits Eden Hazard needs time to recuperate but won't rest him for the west London derby
Jose Mourinho has ruled out giving Eden Hazard a rest for Chelsea’s west London derby against Fulham on Saturday.
The Belgium international has been one of the driving forces behind Chelsea’s rise to the top of the Premier League table this season.
He’s important for us even if he is tired because I know he can produce things. I prefer to have him on the pitch than don’t
The 23-year-old, who moved to the west London side in 2012, has scored 12 goals and made six assists in 27 top-flight appearances.
And although Mourinho admitted that he can’t afford to give Hazard a rest, he is optimistic that Belgium head coach Marc Wilmots might omit the Chelsea star from his side mid-week.
“He needs a rest,” Mourinho said of Hazard. “It would be perfect if his national coach doesn’t play him on Wednesday.
“But he cannot have a rest with the club. His national team plays friendly matches, he needs a rest and they could give him a rest.”
Asked whether he could give Hazard a breather, Mourinho continued: “No I can’t. He’s important for us even if he is tired because I know he can produce things. I prefer to have him on the pitch than don’t.”
Mourinho also ruled out the possibility of asking Wilmots to rest Hazard.
“I don’t do that. I respect the national coach and they do what they want,” he said.