Mourinho impressed by maturing Chelsea

Jose Mourinho believes his Chelsea side are starting to show the signs they are mature enough to challenge Arsenal at the top of the Premier League, the Daily Mail has reported.

Chelsea came from a goal down against Southampton to win 3-1 at Stamford Bridge after the visitors netted inside 13 seconds following an errant Michael Essien back pass. Second-half goals from centre-back pair Gary Cahill and John Terry, as well as a late third from substitute Demba Ba, overturned the score line and left the Blues in second place, four points behind the Gunners.

Mourinho was impressed with what he saw. “It’s the sign of a team that’s going step by step, understanding my ideas and mentality progressively,” he said. “And the ones that are not complete in my mentality or philosophy are adapting progressively, feeling the responsibility that Chelsea cannot be completely out of the title race in December.

They must feel the responsibility to play for Chelsea and that was a sign of maturity today. Losing a goal after 10 seconds, they kept calm. I think my team is a team with a profile that means I can’t establish targets: to say I want to win five consecutive matches, or be top of the league.

I want to work with them, feed the young players, feed the team. And, by the time we’ve done that, we’re there. If you are 10 or 12 points behind, you are building but not fighting for the title. If you are three or four or five, you are evolving, building but also fighting for the title.

Mourinho won the title twice in his three full years as Chelsea manager during his first spell between 2004 and September 2007, before also claiming league crows with Inter in Serie A and Real Madrid in La Liga. Chelsea next play Sunderland on Wednesday and Stoke on Saturday, with both games coming away from the Bridge.

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