Jose Mourinho feels Chelsea have plenty of room for improvement despite making a perfect start to the new Premier League season – but he is happy to take things “step by step”.
The Blues needed more than an hour to finally break down the resistance of a well-organised Leicester side, looking to make their own statement after a decade out of the top flight.
Mourinho had slammed his team as “lazy” in a first half which saw them create few chances, before they rallied, but only after Foxes striker David Nugent had seen a one-on-one chance saved by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, again picked ahead of Petr Cech.
The Chelsea boss was pleased with the response, Brazil international playmaker Oscar hitting the post and £32 million (Dh53.03m) centre forward Diego Costa then scoring his second goal in as many games with a smart close-range finish just after the hour.
Eden Hazard then stroked in a second on 77 minutes which killed off any hope of a comeback by last season’s Championship winners.
Mourinho had opted to switch to afternoon training sessions this week in a bid to avert any lethargy from the traditional August sunshine, which failed to materialise.
The Portuguese coach feels things are moving in the right direction and Chelsea can soon find another level when the fixtures start to come thick and fast once the Capital One Cup and Champions League campaigns begin.
“I know that we need to work and improve, especially on the intensity of our game, which I want to be higher defensively,” said Mourinho.
“But at the same time I know pre-season was not perfect and we need to go step by step.
“For example, Willian played a fantastic 20 minutes, showing he is coming along, but if I play him from the beginning, his answer would not be the same, also with Ramires.
“I know some players are at the top of their form, like (Branislav) Ivanovic, you can see clearly he is completely ready, and by the other way you can see some players are still up and down, have moments where they lose intensity and creativity.
“But I think this is the beginning of the season, we go step by step.”
Leicester’s fate is unlikely to be sealed by results at the title contenders, rather what they are able to do against the sides set to contest the battles in the other half of the table.
The Foxes will get some respite when they host Shrewsbury in their midweek cup tie, before preparing for the visit of Arsenal next Sunday.