Eto'o: Mourinho sees improvement in fitter striker

Samuel Eto'o

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has backed striker Samuel Eto'o to continue improving as he gets fitter following a slow start to his Blues career.

Eto'o, who joined from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in the summer, scored twice in the 3-0 win over Schalke in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Mourinho said: "It was not a surprise for me that he arrived not in the best conditions after two years in Anzhi.

"Now step by step he is going. He is 32 but he's a fit, slim guy."

The Portuguese coach added: "He's not a heavy body. He's intelligent, of course, and I think goals give confidence.

"My favourite players are the players that win matches for me, not the ones that lose matches for me.

"Samuel worked with me in the best season of my career (at Inter). We won everything. So he's in a good position."

The Cameroon striker looked sluggish when he first arrived at Stamford Bridge and came in for some criticism as he managed only one goal - against Cardiff - in his first six games.

Mourinho feels that was down to a lack of competition while Eto'o played for Anzi, who he joined from Italian giants Inter in 2011.

"He was for two years playing without big motivations and when you play without big motivations, you train without big motivations and you lose condition, and you lose sharpness, and you lose even appetite," said the Chelsea boss.

Eto'o's contribution has also brought praise from team-mate John Obi Mikel, who said the Cameroonian's goals on Wednesday "showed he is a world class striker".

"What Eto'o brings to the team is experience; he has won the Champions League three times, Spain's La Liga three times as well as the Italian Serie A," Mikel told BBC Sport.

"He is such a great player and a great character to have around in the dressing room as well, and hopefully he will score more goals to help the club win trophies."

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