Mourinho: Big ambitions

Jose Mourinho has been looking ahead to the coming season and, in particular, the two major competitions.

During a break between two training sessions on the second day of our European training camp, the Portuguese spoke about his hopes for our Premier League and Champions League campaigns.

Speaking in a conference room at the team’s hotel in Velden, Austria, shortly after overseeing an intense early morning session, Mourinho acknowledged the competitive nature of the top flight in England, but said he is confident his side can wrestle the title from Manchester City’s grasp.

‘If I didn’t think that way I would go home and let somebody else take charge of the team,’ said the Chelsea manager. ‘People can speak about other leagues but England is the only country where five or six teams can win the title. Football is about competitiveness every weekend and that only happens in the Premier League.

‘When you have the two Manchester clubs, the three clubs from London – Tottenham, Arsenal and ourselves – plus Liverpool, that’s six top teams, where all of them can win the title. That’s why everybody loves the Premier League.

‘At Chelsea, if we didn’t think we could win the league, or didn’t think we had the quality to do it, we wouldn’t be here working so hard. We respect our opponents and their ambitions, because they have the same ambitions as us, but we want to win the Premier League and we are ready for that.’

Last season’s Champions League campaign ultimately ended in disappointment when we were beaten at the semi-final stage by Atletico Madrid.

The Blues boss, however, believes our run to the last four will serve us well this time around.

‘Last year we reached the semi-finals and it was a transitional season,’ he said. ‘A team which has been a winning team for ten seasons is changing step by step, we’ve bought new players and we are trying to build for the next decade. We had a very young team at the time but, even so, we reached the semi-finals and were playing to win the competition.

‘This season we think we are going to be stronger, the younger players are more experienced, they are stable and better adapted to fighting for titles. You look around, to Spain, Germany and elsewhere in England, teams are getting stronger, spending big amounts of money and trying to sign the best possible players.

‘We will go to the Champions League group stage with one objective: to qualify. When you reach the last 16 let’s see what happens.’

The Blues play our first game of the trip tomorrow against WAC RZ Pellets, and Mourinho has praised the manner in which the team have been received in Austria by local residents.

‘When we decided we wanted to stay in Europe we had to find the right place to come,’ he explained. ‘Here, everything is good; the hotel, the service, the training ground. To have two training pitches together is important for our work and our organisation.

‘The people are very nice and friendly and they always wait until the end of our training session to ask for an autograph. At this moment everything is very nice for us.’