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Mourinho: I'm better than ever

17 August 2013, 07:20

London - Chelsea's Jose Mourinho prepared for his emotional return to Stamford Bridge this weekend with a trademark slice of supreme confidence on Friday by boldly declaring he was a better manager than ever.

Not one for under-selling himself, having embarked on his previous stint at the west London club by branding himself the 'Special One', he goes into Sunday's first Premier League game of his new tenure feeling even more special.

"I think now I'm probably better than ever because experience helps us to be better," Mourinho, who led the Blues to successive Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, told a news conference.

His side host promoted Hull City on Sunday and he is braced for a couple of moments where he will have to keep his emotions in check as he returns to the place he calls his "natural habitat" before the title-chasing business takes over.

"To be back there is a different feeling," said the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan manager, who will conduct a training session at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to make sure all his players know their way around the ground.

"Now I go to my dugout, I go to my stadium, I go to my people so I have to control a little bit (the emotions) because it is something different for sure, a couple of minutes but after that I have to be focused on the game."

He said the Premier League was stronger than it used to be because there were more teams fighting for the title.

"But a few years ago, the better teams were better," he added.

His own team could be better if Mourinho could land his top target, Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, and while he was happy ex-Inter forward Samuel Eto'o had expressed an interest in playing for him again, there was still only one man he wanted.

"I am happy that a player that worked with me before goes publicly and has no problems to say that he would like to join me again, especially a player like Samuel which is a player with a big history in European football," he said.

"But as I was saying... we are trying to get one player and we will see what happens."

He was adamant Chelsea's 26-year-old Brazil defender David Luiz, being hotly pursued by Barcelona, was going nowhere.

"David is one of the players the club made a huge investment (in) and he has not (been) here for seven, eight, nine, 10 years, he's (been) here just for a couple of years," he said.

"He's a very young player, he's a player that signed a new contract last year so when he signed a contract last year he was very happy to do it so we want to keep him.

"We understand that a big club like Barcelona wants the best... but we are being very honest also by saying there is no chance David is leaving."

With the transfer sagas poised to continue into the start of the season, Mourinho offered some insight into a manager's state of mind as the rumours swirl around.

Asked if he was still hopeful of signing Rooney, he replied: "No, I'm just a Chelsea manager.

"Everyone of us (is) looking always to try to strengthen your squad, we always say 'no' but we lie, because until the last day when he market is open we are all waiting for something to happen.

"Even when we say we are very happy with our squad we lie because want always to make it better. So we'll see what happens, not just with us but with Manchester United and everyone else."

- Reuters


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