Jose Mourinho reiterated his stance that Chelsea are “outsiders” to win the Premier League title as his “mind games” continued on Friday.
The London club ended Manchester City’s 100 per cent home record in the top flight on Monday with a 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium.
Chelsea are now level on points with second-placed City and just two points behind leaders Arsenal, but Mourinho maintains that his side are a work in progress.
He said: “It’s the same. We are still third. The good thing is that we can feel now a little bit of space after Liverpool in fourth and the other ones,
“The big objective for us is to finish top four or top three and when you see that little gap after Liverpool in fourth from us that gap is good because it gives us that stability. We can enjoy and get results that will allow us to stay at the top of the league.
“We’ve improved; we trained well and trained hard and the younger people are getting stronger.
“I’m not saying we’re not going to win (the title) – I’m saying we’re not candidates; we’re outsiders.
“We are not a squad like Man City’s with every player in the best moment of their careers, of the age of stability between 25 and their thirties, all of them working together for a long time, a manager that arrived and the team was there ready for him.
“Arsenal are a big example of stability. A manager (Arsene Wenger) working with players year after year. He’s working with these players at the same club for a long time: (Aaron) Ramsey, (Bacary) Sagna, (Jack) Wilshere. We are not there.
“We are different. We are beginning. Of course we dream to win the Premier League and if we have the chance to win we’re not going to say we don’t want to, but we don’t have the same responsibilities.”
When asked if he was playing mind games by talking down Chelsea’s title chances, the former Real Madrid coach said: “Everything I say and do are mind games. The only thing that is not mind games are the results.”
Chelsea will be out for revenge against Newcastle United on Saturday, having lost 2-0 at St James’ Park in November.
Mourinho revealed that Fernando Torres (knee) will not make his return against Alan Pardew’s side, but the striker could feature at West Brom on Tuesday.
Recent signing Mohamed Salah is in contention to make his debut on Saturday.