JOSE MOURINHO thinks Chelsea would have kept a clean sheet during his first game in charge if the game was TEN times as long as usual.
The Special One is never one to downplay his achievements but he claims Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side would never have scored on August 15 2004 if the game had lasted 900 minutes.
Eidur Gudjohnsen’s early goal gave Jose the dream start to life at Stamford Bridge as the Blues beat United 1-0.
The Red Devils fielded a depleted side and had the lion’s share of possession but they could not make it pay.
And according to Mourinho, the psychological impact of that first victory over a “direct rival” was an important one.
Speaking to the Coaches’ Voice, he said: “It was important to win against a direct rival because in the context of 38 matches you cannot lose many points especially at home against direct rivals if you want to win the title.
“I thought it was very important as there was not a contradiction between our words to the players, our ambitions and then the results of the match.
“If you say this season we’re going to be champions and the first match you lose two or three-nil at home to a direct rival you give one step back so it was one step forward.”
The match stats suggest United should have got something out of the game but Mourinho tells a different story.
He added: “There was also a big relation between that match and what we tried to give to the team in pre-season which was mental strength, being compact, tactical discipline and then be really ambitious on the approach that I call the ‘all in approach’.
“You have to put everything in that game, in every minute, in every second, its all in.
“It’s your quality, power, physical power, aggression, emotional control, you have to put everything… all in.
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“And that game was one of those matches where you could feel the ‘all in’.
“It was one of those matches where I feel the game is 90 minutes but it could be 900 minutes and they wouldn’t score and we would always win the match.”
Chelsea went on to win the Premier League that season with 95 points – beating third place Man Utd by 18 points.