Chelsea V Cardiff at Stamford Bridge : Match Preview
Chelsea V Cardiff - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Mourinho hails Cech as world's best
Jose Mourinho hailed Petr Cech as the world's number one goalkeeper on Friday ahead of the Czech Republic stopper's 300th Barclays Premier League match for the Blues.
The 31-year-old joined from Rennes in 2004 and displaced Carlo Cudicini, who the previous season was voted Chelsea's player of the year, to make his debut in the opening match of Mourinho's tenure against Manchester United.
"Petr came here very, very young and immediately, first game of the season, Chelsea-Man United, clean sheet," said Mourinho, ahead of Saturday's match with Cardiff.
"The book is full of clean sheets and the guy is fantastic. His work ethic is amazing. I think he's a very young goalkeeper."
Mourinho's belief that Cech has years ahead of him as a top-level goalkeeper means he is prepared for a quandary at the end of the campaign.
Belgium goalkeeper Thibault Courtois is currently on his third season-long loan spell at Atletico Madrid and has attracted overtures from Barcelona.
The 21-year-old Courtois joined from Genk on a five-year deal in 2011 and has two years left on his contract come the end of the season.
Mourinho, for now, is relaxed about the upcoming decision.
"In this moment I don't think about it," the Portuguese said.
"It's a good decision. We have the best goalkeeper in the world and the best young goalkeeper in the world.
"I don't think many people disagree with me. If somebody disagrees it will not be by far.
"It's a very good problem. Our goal is safe and financially we are also very safe because their value in the market is the value of the best."
As for the prospect of one of the goalkeepers leaving, Mourinho added: "We control the situation. Not Barcelona. Not Atletico. Not another team that can be interested in one of our goalkeepers.
"We don't have a problem. Teams with a problem are teams without good goalkeepers."
Cech has spent the majority of his Chelsea career behind a defence which has included John Terry, unless the captain has been injured or suspended.
Terry has endured a turbulent time since Mourinho's 2007 departure - the Anton Ferdinand racism row, twice losing the England captaincy, injury and missing a penalty in the 2008 Champions League final - but the Portuguese believes he is nearing a return to his best.
"I never said that I saved his career," Mourinho said.
"I was in Italy, I was in Spain, always with an eye for Chelsea, especially my ex players. I was questioning myself what is happening, why he was not performing.
"It was a question mark for me when I arrived but since the beginning I've found him in very good condition.
"He's recovering his self-esteem, he's recovering the feeling of being an important player for the team, which is a feeling that he lost in the last couple of years.
"That's good for him, that's good for me."
Fernando Torres is available again following a knee injury, but Ashley Cole (ribs) and Andre Schurrle (leg) are out and doubtful for Tuesday's Champions League match at Schalke.
Malky Mackay is keen to draw a line under recent events at Cardiff, but there remains no explanation for the the removal of Iain Moody as his head of recruitment.
Moody, who had worked with Mackay at Watford, has been replaced by 23-year-old Kazakhstani Alisher Apsalyamov on an interim basis.
Apsalyamov is thought to be a friend of Cardiff owner Vincent Tan's son and appears to have no previous experience in football.
It has been suggested that a transfer budget overspend during the summer, when the club spent more than #30million bringing in the likes of Steven Caulker, Gary Medel, Andreas Cornelius and Peter Odemwingie, had been behind Moody's exit.
Cardiff boss Mackay refuted those claims, despite Tan's claim of a #15million overspend, and reports he had been asked to resign.
But he was not prepared to state just why he is no longer working with one of his most-trusted aides, although his agent had stated the Scot was prepared to do just that earlier this week.
Mackay would also not comment on whether he had had any dealings with Apsalyamov, during a tense press conference where, after answering initial questions on off-field matters, he made it clear he would only answer further questions related to Saturday's game against Chelsea.
"Iain is an absolute class act as far as I am concerned. He has done a very impressive job for the football club," said Mackay, who also apologised to the club's fans over the spotlight Moody's departure has cast on the Bluebirds.
"In one of the periods of success at the football club, which we have been in over the last two and a half years, he has had a huge part to play in the restructuring of my squad.
"He helped bring in more than 20-odd players and he is someone who had a huge part to play in the current success, who will be missed by everyone who works for out football club.
"He leaves with my utmost gratitude and respect. I would say our loss will be someone's huge gain.
"One thing I would clarify, as I have read a few things over the past couple of weeks, is that we were absolutely under budget this summer. I want to clarify that. That is what I have to say about Iain.
"As far as I am concerned, again for clarification, under no circumstances was I asked to resign and at no time have I thought of resigning from the football club."
Striker Andreas Cornelius remains the only injury absentee for Mackay.
Related Chelsea News