Jose Mourinho believes Chelsea 's old guard are leading the way as the Portuguese bids to foster a winning mentality at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho will take charge of the Blues for the first time in nearly six years in Wednesday's pre-season friendly with Singha All-Stars.
Five survivors from Mourinho's first spell at Chelsea, which ended abruptly in September 2007, in Petr Cech, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien will start at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium.
Mourinho makes no distinction between the players he is familiar with and those new to him, except that he is impressed by the attitude shown by the experienced members of the squad.
"It's normal after one week that I don't see any more 'the old' and 'the new'," Mourinho said.
"The good thing with my previous players is that what I see makes me very happy - I don't see them any different to before.
"And when I see Terry, Cole, Lampard, the way they are working at (age) 32, 32, 35, it's easy for me to control the group and it's easy for me to demand the same from the other guys.
"I can say 'Look that them: they don't miss one minute, they are training like animals, they compete. So you, who are 18, 19, 21, don't tell me you can't do it'.
"It's fantastic. I'm very happy. They know me. They know that I'm not going to make their lives easy.
"From the first day they never questioned that situation and worked hard. It's good for me because they are ready, all of them."
Mourinho says his morale is vastly improved since leaving Real Madrid - his spell at the Bernabeu ended acrimoniously - for west London.
"My wife was right," he said. "She told me a few times in Madrid that I needed to be happy to be able to give my best.
"I needed to be happy to be motivated, to spend my time organizing training sessions and enjoying the sessions, to enjoy to be with the players outside the training sessions - and I'm having all of this here."
He is enjoying the pre-season tour as an opportunity to bond with his players; a group he plans to keep together.
"It's fantastic for all of us to have the chance to get to know each other well," he said.
"We are very much on board and connected, me and the board and the owner (Roman Abramovich) - we are very much connected.
"We don't need to sell players; we are happy with the group we have."