x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Chelsea's Jose Mourinho expects a tough start to life back in the Premier League

The Portuguese coach is wary of the danger posed by Hull City – Chelsea's first opponents of the 2013/14 season

Jose Mourinho gets his second spell in charge of Chelsea underway against Hull City. Eddie Keogh / Reuters
Jose Mourinho gets his second spell in charge of Chelsea underway against Hull City. Eddie Keogh / Reuters

Jose Mourinho's first official match on his return to Stamford Bridge is widely expected to finish with a comfortable Chelsea victory, but the Portuguese coach is wary of the danger posed by Hull City.

Chelsea host Steve Bruce's promoted side in Mourinho's return to the English Premier League today, with Mourinho putting his 60-match unbeaten run in the English top flight to the test.

"I don't like to play against teams that come from the lower division, because when they come they come with a fantastic mentality," Mourinho said.

"They come as winners, they come as a team that week after week is winning matches and winning points. It's different to a team that survives in the Premier League on the last day; they come with a fantastic attitude."

Mourinho gave short shrift this week to the complaints by his Manchester United counterpart, David Moyes, over the fixture schedule, but his side could go to Old Trafford on August 26 in a healthy position; they play Aston Villa on Wednesday.

"It's always a difficult start," Mourinho said. "We have to play two days after against Aston Villa, after that we have to go to Old Trafford, so our start is a very difficult one."

Chelsea won the title in Mourinho's first two seasons in charge - 2004/05 and 2005/06 - before his September 2007 departure.

The first triumph brought Chelsea's first championship in 50 years.

"The first title we didn't start well, we lost against Man City [in October]," Mourinho said.

"We were second. I remember we only came to the top of the league when we won at West Brom and Arsenal played that same fixture.

"The second season we started very, very strong.

"We have to try to win, but there are people that say that a bad start is better than a good start.

"Of course, I prefer to start good. But the start is difficult."

Hull manager Bruce thinks the return of the "Mourinho factor" to the Premier League is something to be celebrated, even if it makes his club's return even harder than it already was.

"The fact that Jose is back is a 'wow'," Bruce said. "I'm delighted he's back because we need people like him. He's quite remarkable in what he has done, and not just at Chelsea; he's gone to Italy and done it; he's gone to Spain and done it; he started in Portugal and done it.

"That's the Mourinho factor. He brings certain standards and you can't argue with them because whether it's Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan or Real Madrid he wins the thing."

* Press Association

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