Jose Mourinho: Prem race will be open
Jose Mourinho has said he expects the Premier League to remain unpredictable and open until the end of the season -- and does not think Chelsea can be as relentless as his 2004-06 team until they develop the right mentality.
The opening weeks of the campaign have been marked by a number of surprise results, and the Blues boss insisted the top teams would continue to lose games.
“Every weekend, somebody will lose points,” he said. “The first one was Arsenal in the first fixture [at home to Aston Villa], [Manchester] City, we and [Manchester] United drop points in the third, we lost the fourth [away to Everton], Liverpool on the fourth, Tottenham the third. Everybody’s losing.
“I think the league will be open until the end. At this moment, some teams are being helped by the fixtures, because some fixtures are more difficult than others.
“By the end of November, beginning of December, everybody has basically played everyone and then we will find someone in better situation than others. But I believe this is a situation that could go all the way with big doubts about position, and that is good.”
Mourinho said Chelsea still needed to develop the right winning mentality, but praised their performance in the 4-0 Champions League win away to Steaua Bucharest.
“We have a lot to improve and work to do,” he explained. “We will have ups and downs. That's normal with this profile of squad. I'm ready for that.
“But what I like is my team to be proactive, not reactive. And the team was proactive against Steaua Bucharest. From the first minute, we showed our mentality -- we wanted to score goals.”
Mourinho said he expected a tough challenge at Norwich on Sunday, saying he did not believe the Canaries would be in a relegation battle at the end of the season and praising their boss, Chris Hughton.
“The manager is good,” he said. “I like the way he coaches and organises his team. They have a good mentality. Norwich are not a team to fight for survival. They are very strong at home, and it will be a very difficult match for us.”