Jose Mourinho has told Chelsea fans to be patient with Ramires as the Brazilian looks to rediscover his best form.The 27-year-old has been struggling with a thigh problem and has not started a Premier League match since playing against Liverpool in early November.
He came through his first 90 minutes since August in the FA Cup win over Watford earlier this month and could be handed a game in Saturday’s fourth-round tie withBradford.
Chelsea remain on course for an historic quadruple this season and will need all the bodies they can get to help them fight on all fronts for silverware.
A fully-fit Ramires is a big asset in midfield but Mourinho has urged supporters to give the player time to work his way back to his energetic best.
“This is not yet our Ramires,” he explained.
This is a Ramires that is making a big effort to recover from a difficult injury and I’m helping him to recover by giving him some minutes because in normal circumstances he wouldn’t even play.”
Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas have become Mourinho’s first-choice pairing in the centre of the park this season.
However, Ramires says he is ready to step in when called upon by his manager and thinks the Blues are in a great position.
“I have had to be patient,” he said.
“I stopped playing regularly for a long time and now for me it’s very good to be playing more. I need to do more work to feel more well, but now I can help the team and I’m happy about that.
“It was a muscular injury in my abductor. It is a difficult area to get injured because all your movement depends on this. It was difficult for me because one day it felt very good, others not so good.
“I’m more confident because now I’m okay to play if Jose Mourinho needs me to play more games. I’m in the condition to do that. Last season we were okay but this season we have improved a lot compared to the last few seasons. Everyone can see that.”
Meanwhile, Blues skipper John Terry will be given a breather this weekend while goalkeeper Petr Cech returns between the sticks in the FA Cup.