Century-chasing Mourinho not fooled by United's woes

Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:58am EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - Victory over Manchester United on Sunday would notch 100 Premier League wins for Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho but he refuses to be fooled into thinking the ailing champions will give him an easy ride to another milestone.

United's teething problems under new manager David Moyes have left them way off the pace, 11 points behind leaders Arsenal and nine behind third-placed Chelsea, and defeat at Stamford Bridge would effectively end their hopes of staying in touch with the main title protagonists.

With strikers Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney likely to be missing for United, Chelsea will start strong favorites, although Mourinho warned his players against complacency.

"Read the match program, my notes," Mourinho told reporters on Friday. "I start by saying we don't play against a team that are 11 points behind the leader, we play against the champions, we play against Manchester United.

"That's the way I start my notes in the program and that's exactly the way I feel. I've been in the game a long time, I've played dozens and dozens of derbies and classic matches, games between the big teams and that's what experience says.

"On many occasions, the team that looks to be in the most difficult situation appears stronger in the match, that's why I consider this game especially dangerous."


Mourinho is well-schooled in sporting psychology but his take on the 100-win landmark was simple.

"My 100th victory in the Premier League with Chelsea is going to happen; is it against United, West Ham or later? I don't know, what I know is that the number will arrive.   Continued...

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (C) attends their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at The KC Stadium in Hull, northern England, January 11, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis