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Tuesday 04 June 2013

Mourinho: Premier League will be tighter than ever

New Chelsea manager believes up to six teams could vie for Barclays Premier League title

Jose Mourinho will face Man Utd's David Moyes, but says other teams can win the title, too

Jose Mourinho has revealed that he believes the Barclays Premier League will be more competitive than ever next season and that his return to Chelsea as manager has given him a unique feeling of starting work at a club he loves.

In an exclusive interview with Chelsea TV shortly after his appointment as manager was announced yesterday by the club, Mourinho said that for the first time in his distinguished coaching career he was entering a club as a fan as well as a manager.

"To be a Chelsea fan and manager is a new feeling for me and it's a fantastic feeling"
Jose Mourinho

"I feel myself not just as the Chelsea manager, because this is the first time in my career that I've arrived at a club that I already love," the 50-year-old said. "Normally I love the club a couple of years after I am there. Of course I go to a club, I wear the shirt and I feel the shirt with the crest and I give everything I have to do it, but this is the first time where I love it already.

"To be at the same time a Chelsea fan and a Chelsea manager is a new feeling for me and it's a fantastic feeling."

Mourinho said that it did not take long for him and Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, to decide to come back to the club where he won back-to-back Barclays Premier League titles in the 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons.

"It was an easy decision," he said. "I met the boss, the owner, and I think within five minutes after some short and pragmatic questions we decided straightaway. I asked the boss, 'Do you want me back?' and the boss asked me, 'Do you want to come back?' and in a couple of minutes the decision was made."

'Stability will help younger players develop'

The Chelsea team that Mourinho inherits is one that is younger than the previous one he took over in 2004 and, with this in mind, the new manager said the aim is to bring stability to the club and to use the more experienced players to help the younger talent at Stamford Bridge to thrive.

"When you look at the profile of the Chelsea squad I think it [stability] is what they need at this time," Mourinho said. "If you look from my time, there are around four or five boys and these are the older ones - very important for this football club and very important for the balance of the squad, but it's a young squad with a lot of talent and I think they need stability to reach a high point of their evolution and for their careers."

"There will be five or six teams very strong in the Premier League"
Jose Mourinho

Mourinho downplayed the notion that the relatively early exits of English sides from the UEFA Champions League was a sign of the Barclays Premier League growing weaker.

With the sides who finished in the top three in the Barclays Premier League - Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea - all changing managers this summer, Mourinho is predicting an exciting season ahead with a wider challenge to Chelsea than during his first stint at the club.

"People were speaking about the level of the Premier League moving down comparing it with other countries, but I don't believe so much on that," he said. "Sometimes things happen and there are no really firm reasons.

"I still think the Premier League is a fantastic competition and I don't know but I believe there will be five or six teams very strong. In my time here in 2004 it was more about us, Man Utd and Arsenal, and after that a gap to the other teams.

"In this moment I think you can put five or six teams in the same plan, aiming at the start to reach the Champions League spots, which is very difficult, and with more ambition to win the Premier League, and so the competition will be fantastic. I hope I can beat the competition."

To see Mourinho's interview in full or to read a transcript of it, click here

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Key Points

  • Jose Mourinho says he feels like a Chelsea fan as well as manager on his return to Stamford Bridge
  • In an interview with Chelsea TV, Mourinho aims to bring stability to help the younger players develop
  • Manager believes that next season's Barclays Premier League will feature more teams vying for the title