Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho hailed the impact of Cesc Fabregas in his side’s win over Derby in the Capital One Cup.
The Spain midfielder turned in a man-of-the-match performance as the Blues ran out 3-1 winners over the Championship outfit to advance to the semi-finals.
Fabregas has been an superb form since signing for Chelsea from Barcelona, and Mourinho was full of praise for the performance and attitude of his star midfielder.
“He’s playing so well for us and what I like especially – more than his quality – is the person,” he said.
“He’s a professional. A big player like him, a world champion, coming here to play a Capital One Cup match and play the way he did – this is the kind of attitude I want from my players.
“All of them were very professional so I’m so, so happy with that, because sometimes people don’t realise how difficult it is to play against Championship teams.”
Mourinho also praised Tuesday’s opponents, saying Steve McClaren’s promotion hopefuls provided a stern test for his team.
“They are a Championship side but not a typical Championship side – they have more quality than that,” he added.
“They play good football, they have fantastic support in the stadium and we knew that was going to be difficult, but I think we played in a very professional way.
“We controlled the game for most of the time, but I have to be fair to them and say that they fought until the end - and especially a few minutes after they scored they put us in trouble.”