Chelsea chief Jose Mourinho is a big fan of Norwich City boss Chris Hughton
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Jose Mourinho is predicting Norwich City will not be mired in a Premier League relegation battle this season.
The all-conquering Chelsea boss has plenty of respect for Chris Hughton and his methods after what Mourinho labels an astute summer transfer outlay.
'They made a great investment this season. They had money to spend, they bought good players, players with a big future,' he said. 'The squad is very good. The manager is good, I like the way he coaches and the way he organises his teams. Norwich are not a team to be fighting for survival, they are a team with a completely different perspective. It's a difficult match for us, especially at home where they are normally very strong.'
Mourinho knows the value of picking up points on the road, with the Portuguese boss expecting this season's Premier League title race to go right to the wire. The Chelsea chief believes the early evidence from the opening weeks suggests Manchester United's 11-point romp to last season's coronation will be not be repeated this time around.
'The league will be open until the end, he said. 'In this moment some teams are being helped by the fixtures, because some fixtures are more difficult than others. By the end of November, beginning of December, basically everybody will have played against everybody and by that moment we will find if somebody is in a better situation than others. We are certainly not strong enough to be dominant every match, to win consecutively without any lost points.'
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'He's come back to the top level of European football and he needs a little bit of time to find that sharpness,' Mourinho told Chelsea's official site. 'He's playing a lot and he's getting his form. He understands where he is, for an experienced player like him the Premier League is a different picture. Players transform themselves over the years; they become stronger in some aspects and they lose some other qualities in other aspects.
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'With me at Inter he was playing many times wide and coming inside. I don't think he can play the same way - he must play more as a pure number nine. Players are going to adapt in relation to their age, their position and their condition. We have a lot to improve, a lot to work on. We will have ups and downs, I'm ready for that.'