Mourinho: Good answers

As the first few weeks of the season draw to a close, Jose Mourinho says he has been given plenty of optimism by certain aspects of our three games so far, as well as from what he has seen in training every day.

Premier League fixture four comes against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge today in what will be the manager’s 100th league game in charge of us on home soil. He will be trying to guide his side to victory number 77 in that time, and assessing our chances of doing that the manager explained why he is feeling positive ahead of the game.

‘The first half against Swansea I liked a lot,’ said Mourinho. ‘In the second half against Swansea I loved the players’ answer from a mental point of view.

‘I liked very much the second half against Man City. I liked very much our game with 10 outfield players against West Brom. We scored three goals and we could have scored five or six.

‘At the moment we are being punished by a couple of individual mistakes, which in normal conditions are going to be reduced. Because I trust the players I am okay.

‘I am happy with the week - the concentration, the focus, and the way they use their exercises to improve collectively and individually.

‘I’m waiting for a good answer. Maybe I’m wrong, sometimes football is unpredictable but I think we are working well and I’m expecting a good answer today.’

As Mourinho knows, a London derby always provides its own unique challenges, and the manager is well aware too of the threat posed by a Palace side with whom we have contested a number of close matches in recent years.

The Eagles are one of a number of Premier League clubs to have bolstered their squad this summer with some big-name signings, and the fact they were able to do that is one of the reasons why Mourinho loves the English top flight.

‘I think it’s fantastic,’ he said. ‘It’s the reason why this is the league.

‘Of course you have super teams in other leagues. You have the Spanish league as the greatest example of that, but you have other teams in big trouble financially, and because of that they cannot afford to get good players, and because they don’t get good players the distance between the top teams is huge.

‘You have some big matches during the season between the big teams, but you have other matches where people don’t watch on TV. Even I, as a manager, had seen matches where I was bored because the difference is huge.

‘Here, when Palace buys [Yohan] Cabaye, and Stoke buy [Xherdan] Shaqiri, and Leicester buy [Gokhan] Inler, and Watford buy [Valon] Bahrami, and so on, they have very good players and the competition becomes fantastic. I am happy with that.’