Jose Mourinho was in an honest mood during his last pre-match press conference of the season.
The Portuguese boss knows he can no longer lead Chelsea to this year's Premier League title when his side travel to Cardiff, but he suggested the squad are just a few players short of making a greater impression.
Mourinho's failing strikers have been the topic of much debate throughout the campaign, but he expects that to change during the summer, per Miguel Delaney of ESPN FC:
Mourinho previously reminisced about a mixed campaign for the west London club. His developing team have flitted between brilliant and woeful, summed up with a league win away at Manchester City and losses to strugglers such as Newcastle, Aston Villa and Sunderland.
The boss indicates this year's disappointment was necessary for the long-term development of his squad. Despite a lack of trophies, he believes progress has been made, as reported by the club's official Twitter feed:
Mourinho was unable to confirm whether the futures of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole remain at the club. He did, however, suggest Lampard would one day be immortalised outside Stamford Bridge after becoming Chelsea's all-time leading goalscorer back in May 2013. Delaney and the club's feed provide details:
Fresh on the news, via TheFA.com, that FA chairman Greg Dyke is planning on installing League Three into the English football structure—a division that would host Premier League B teams—Mourinho cheekily hinted his comments wouldn't go down well if he supported the idea or not, per Delaney:
The former Real Madrid boss also suggested the loss to Sunderland, his first home Premier League defeat ever, will continue to enter his thoughts in the future, noted by Delaney:
Such a quote goes a long way to underlining Chelsea's season. Although players such as Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle and Willian made decent progress and helped secure a plethora of positive results, it's the moments of failure that define this year's empty trophy cabinet.
Mourinho has proven he can build title-winning teams throughout his career. Chelsea's task remains difficult, but with significant funds and a proven boss behind the side, Stamford Bridge is unlikely to wait too long before further success arrives.
A summer of transfer activity awaits, as Mourinho looks to improve on this year's all-but-confirmed, third-place finish.