Vol. 5 Num 568 Sat. December 31, 2005  

'Just the beginning for Chelsea'

Chelsea still have a long way to go before they can truly start comparing themselves to Alex Ferguson's Manchester United, manager Jose Mourinho has said.

The Londoners comfortably won the Premiership title for the first time last year and are well set to make it back-to-back wins already this season, but the Portuguese coach wants more of the same.

"I think the Chelsea project is not about winning one championship, it is about gaining a few over the next years," he said.

"At that time we can compare ourselves to what Manchester United have done in the past.

"But at this moment we have just one Premiership, a very important one as it was the first in 50 years and changes a little bit the way people look at Chelsea, especially the kids.

"We have to do more to persuade people that Chelsea are the club of the future."

The Chelsea coach spoke about his first season and a half at Chelsea during an interview for the British Forces Broadcasting Service.

He admitted that his first season at the club was not perfect despite steering Chelsea to the title and also winning the League Cup.

"It is not an individual sport, it is a family, a group, we are all responsible for good things and bad things,'' explained Mourinho.

"I think to our group I give a nine. I couldn't give a 10 because we didn't get to the Champions League final.

"But because it is knockout and knockout is quite strange and not always the best teams go through, I would give between eight and nine. It was a great season but not perfect."

Chelsea have lost just two games in the Premiership since Mourinho breezed into Stamford Bridge calling himself the "special one" - a nickname he has mixed feelings about.

"I cannot say I like it because when you lose you are not special," he admitted.

"People can make fun with it so you can imagine if we lost two or three matches they say he is special because he lost a lot of times. But to be fair I think it is a nice nickname."

Mourinho also defended himself and his club and chairman against charges that they were simply buying their way to the top.

He insisted that Chelsea are investing for the future and some of owner Roman Abramovich's millions are being spent on ensuring the club has a solid future.

"Football is crucial - for the club and for the passion and we are working a lot on that," said Mourinho.

"We are investing a lot of money in the future of Chelsea; the structure, the academy, it is a big investment and we are looking forward to the future. I have a five-year contract and I hope I can finish it because I love it here.