Chelsea FC manager Jos Mourinho is anticipating a difficult challenge against Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace side on Saturday, in what will be the Portuguese’s 100th league fixture at Stamford Bridge.

 

As expected, several questions to the Blues’ manager in his pre-match press conference on Friday were based on the transfer market, and more specifically Mourinho’s pursuit of John Stones and Paul Pogba. Also unsurprisingly, the Portuguese manager refused to be drawn on them, preferring not to make any comments either way.

The Blues’ boss also expressed pride at his home record in the Premier League with Chelsea FC, but insisted that it would have no impact in the future, and that only three points against Crystal Palace would make him happy.

Mourinho refused to be drawn on the Stones and Pogba transfer stories

Despite being asked about the pair in his pre-match press conference, the Chelsea FC manager preferred to keep his counsel, refusing to comment on the intense speculation in the media in recent weeks.

The 52-year-old is quoted by London’s Evening Standard as saying: “I don’t speak about players from other teams. I have a good squad. I’m happy with the squad I have. If I get another player until the end of the market, good. If I don’t get, we go with what we have.

“I’m not going to do the ‘like’, ‘I would like’ of Pogba. He’s a Juventus player, I’m the Chelsea manager.”

The former Inter Milan manager also chose not to comment on the recent speculation surrounding Chinese defender Zhang Linpeng, who has been linked with a shock move to the English capital. “He is a Guangzhou player, so it’s the same story. I don’t comment,” Mourinho said.

Crystal Palace a better team in comparison to last season, according to Mourinho

The Chelsea FC coach did speak at length about Crystal Palace and the threat they pose, whilst confirming that he has been working with his squad on the defence – an area that has been a major concern for the Blues at the start of the season.

Mourinho is quoted by the club’s official website as saying: “Crystal Palace are always a difficult opponent and they have even better players than last season and an even better team than last season. A London derby is always a London derby and for them Stamford Bridge is a huge motivation.

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“We have worked on a few things on defending in training, such as defending with nine men. We also worked on tactical aspects to improve the team. I didna t just work the defenders, I worked the team because you have to defend as a team. You cannot blame defenders for goals conceded because a team is a team and good one defends as a team.”

In what will be his 100th league match in charge of Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge, as well as his 200th Premier League game, Mourinho will be hoping that that defensive training pays dividends and the Blues can see off Alan Pardew’s men to secure their first home win of the season.