Jose Mourinho: My disagreements with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich are in the past
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's previous disagreements with owner Roman Abramovich are over and he is ready to fight for his fourth Premier League title starting this weekend, the Portuguese said yesterday.
In his first spell at the club, starting in 2004, Mourinho won the league in both his first two seasons, only to fall out with the Russian owner and leave in September 2007.
He returned two years ago, finishing third in his first season and then winning the title again in May.
"In my first period, my personal relationship (with Abramovich) was very good (but) professionally we had some interferences and a bit of a disagreement with some ideas," Mourinho said.
"In this moment we don't have this problem. When I left Real Madrid to come here, Mr Abramovich asked me to fight for titles.
"In my first season we were almost there, in my second season we did it and in my third season if you are close, you can always do it."
Chelsea are aiming to become the first team to retain the title since Manchester United in 2009 and Mourinho believes it will be the usual clubs challenging them.
"The top five are the top five, and why not a club like Tottenham to get in there?" he said.
"But in the end history plays a part and investment plays a part.
"Chelsea (were) four times champion in the last decade. Arsenal are a fantastic club with great players. Liverpool have amazing investment.
"Man City is a squad to love and a club with two Premier Leagues in the last four or five years. And Man United with everything -- the history, the players, the investment.
"So everybody will be there."
The champions begin their defence of the title with a home game against Swansea City on Saturday and their first away game is against Manchester City, last season's runners-up, on Sunday week.
However, the defending champions season could be in trouble if striker Diego Costa is unavailable for long, former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp said.
Spain striker Costa, who injured his hamstring during the pre-season and missed Chelsea's Community Shield loss to Arsenal, is a doubt for Saturday's Premier League opener against Swansea City.
"If Costa is injured a lot and is going to be missing, that's the scary part -- can they (Chelsea) get away without him?" Redknapp, who quit as Queens Park Rangers manager in February, said on his official Twitter handle on Tuesday.
"If Costa does pick up injuries, and it seems his hamstring isn't great at the moment, one of (Loic) Remy and (Radamel) Falcao has got to carry the baton and do the job and whether they can is the question mark."
The 68-year-old Redknapp resigned from QPR in February with the club second bottom of the Premier League. They were relegated at the end of the season.
"Maybe Falcao can do the job, Jose's placed his faith in him. Jose (Mourhino) can lift people and improve people and if he can get the best out of him maybe they'll be ok," Redknapp added.