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Chelsea V Hull at Stamford Bridge : LIVE

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18 Aug 2013 14:51:32

Chelsea V Hull at Stamford Bridge : LIVE

Chelsea V Hull - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Mourinho cautious of Hull

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is wary of newly-promoted Hull dampening celebrations on his Stamford Bridge homecoming.

The Blues host Steve Bruce's side in Mourinho's return to the Barclays Premier League on Sunday, with the Chelsea boss 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 lowerdivision, 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 Manchester United counterpart David Moyes' complaints over the fixture schedule short shrift this week, but his Blues side could go to Old Trafford on August 26 in a healthy position, as they also play Aston Villa next 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."

Mourinho, who has summer signings Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel pushing for debuts, is well aware he will be the centre of attention on Sunday, with a rapturous reception anticipated from the home fans.

However, he hopes the supporters' energy will be used to encourage those on the pitch, rather than in the dugout.

"Our people is great in the sense of loyalty to the people that have given something to the club in the past, but I think they have to focus on this game, this competition, try to make Stamford Bridge a tough place for everybody to play and make my people feel at home," he said.

Mourinho has changed in his near six-year absence from the Premier League, but his desire for success remains.

He added: "DNA is the same, but I think people change. I feel myself in permanent transformation. You learn, you try to improve.

"Of course I'm more mature, I have, I don't say a different personality, but a different way of prioritising things in life and in football.

"I feel myself very confident, very stable, with great maturity. (But) my nature doesn't change."

Hull boss Bruce admits the return of the "Mourinho factor" is something to be celebrated, even if it makes City's Premier League comeback even harder than it already was.

Chelsea, who finished last season well off the pace of the title race, have been installed as favourites following the reappointment of the Portuguese and are widely expected to brush aside the newly-promoted Tigers.

But Bruce is an unashamed fan of his opposite number and is looking forward to the extra frisson his presence will bring.

"The fact that Jose is back is a 'wow'," said Bruce.

"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.

"I'm sure they'll be there or thereabouts.

"If we ever wanted a wake-up call about what the Premier League is all about we'll get it at Chelsea. It's a tough start for us. It's going to be packed to the rafters, the interest is remarkable in the return of Jose and we couldn't have wanted a bigger test or a bigger challenge.

"Let's hope this makes up for a lot of those dark, horrible nights in the Championship."

Bruce is expected to blood a host of summer signings. Goalkeeper Allan McGregor, defenders Maynor Figueroa and Curtis Davies and strikers Danny Graham and Yannick Sagbo have all been heavily involved in pre-season, while midfield pair Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore go straight into the squad following their arrival from Tottenham this week.



Republic of Ireland international Stephen Quinn is the only senior player carrying an injury and will miss out with a hamstring complaint.


DSG

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