"I think our new boss is really strong," said Essien.
The Ghana midfielder is buzzing after a few weeks' work with a manager clearly in tune with the psyche of the modern footballer.
"He's a tough guy during the games but he's friendly off the pitch," said the softly spoken Essien. "He likes to talk to his players all the time. It's good to have him on the pitch in training, telling us what to do.
"He has his own way of managing this team and it's good for the players and the club. He's similar to Mourinho. If he feels something, he stops the game and tells you what he feels."