Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard has labelled Jose Mourinho a "great manager" and knows the Manchester United boss and his players will be out for revenge over the Blues in their FA Cup clash on Monday.
United travel to Stamford Bridge for the quarter-final tie five months on from their humiliating 4-0 Premier League loss to Chelsea earlier this season, a game in which the Belgium international scored.
Hazard, though, says he always felt Mourinho’s men would come on strong as the season progressed and praised the quality of his former club.
Some Chelsea supporters targeted Hazard’s poor form as one of the reasons Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea last season, particularly after he appeared to substitute himself in the Portuguese’s last match against Leicester City, but the 26-year-old is undeterred.
"I started last season with pain – of course [that was the reason]," Hazard told the Express about his form last season.
"I remember the game at Leicester away I had pain on my hip. It was so painful.
"Criticism is always the same. You have a bad game, we lost, the manager was sacked, so everyone was talking in a bad way.
"But it is football. You have to deal with it. I deal with it this season.
"United I said would be strong in the second half of the season. They have a great manager and great players.
"They want revenge for October, but I have never won the FA Cup. So I want to win."
‘OH MY GOODNESS ME!’
Let’s take another look at that incredible solo goal… pic.twitter.com/emnlJHTFn5
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 10, 2017
Hazard feels it has been a new Chelsea team ever since they held a frank discussion after losing at home to Liverpool last September.
"After we lost to Liverpool in September, we were worried," added the winger. "But we talked. The manager was not going to let that happen.
"He changed things. We said, ‘We are Chelsea, we have to be at the top, now stop talking, talk on the pitch, win games’. And we did that.
"All of us have had more motivation this year, because you don’t want things to be the same as last season. You want to be better. You know you are a better player than last season, so you know you have to do better.
"We have all had something to prove. When you play a bad game, next game you have to prove that the bad game was a mistake."