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Mourinho ready for battle at St James' Park

05 December 2014, 20:27

London - Jose Mourinho said Friday he believes Alan Pardew's Newcastle United reserve "the game of their lives" for when they come up against Chelsea.

Mourinho has not recorded a league victory at St James' Park during two spells in charge of the west London club and suffered a 2-0 defeat when his side last visited in November last year.

This time Mourinho's side will head to Tyneside riding high with a six-point lead at the head of the table, having matched the club's record 23-game unbeaten run with the midweek victory over Tottenham.

But the manager insists his side face a testing challenge if they are to finally break the manager's duck at the stadium on Saturday.

Also read: Mikel to replace suspended Matic

Mourinho said: "It's difficult, a difficult stadium to play at. There are a few stadiums in this country where, clearly, when they see the Chelsea shirts, they play the game of their lives.

"When they play against other teams they look like they're playing friendlies. Maybe this is because Chelsea, in the last decade, became a strong team that everybody wants to beat."

Mourinho insists he is unconcerned by the possibility his side could establish a new club record if they avoid defeat against Pardew's men.

He said: "I'm not looking for records. I'm looking for points. Victories and points. And, if possible, at the end of the season, titles.

"The only thing that matters for me in the Premier League is that I won the title twice. That's the only thing that matters to me."

Speaking ahead of the trip to Newcastle, Mourinho revealed Diego Costa will return to lead the attack after sitting out the Spurs clash while serving a one-match ban.

John Obi Mikel will come in for Nemanja Matic who collected a fifth booking of the season midweek but Mourinho is confident the loss of the Serbian will not be felt.

The manager said: "It's a big player for us who isn't playing, but we trust other people.

"Matic has a bit of a holiday, a free weekend which he deserves very much. He will be back stronger. Others play and we trust him."

Costa's return means Didier Drogba will be back on the substitutes' bench despite scoring his fourth goal of the season against Spurs but Mourinho believes the striker has already demonstrated there is still a lot more to come from the 36-year-old.

Drogba returned to the club on a one-year deal after a two-year absence before the start of this season.

And after being asked about the forward's potential qualities as a coach, Mourinho said: "I don't know his qualities as a coach because I never saw him coach. For me that's a new story.

"My personal story is that he is still a very good player and, if he wants my advice in the future, he should stop when he wants, when he feels. Not be waiting for me or the club to decide.

"We love him. We want him. He's a great football player. He should stop when he wants.

"After that, I know Mr Abramovich (the club owner) is very happy to keep him in the club in every area we and he feels he is useful and happy.

"But that's after he makes his decision to stop his career, which is after tomorrow. I never saw him coach. I have no idea (if he could coach)."



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