Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is resigned to the prospect of losing this season but insists defeat will not lead to crisis at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues can extend their unbeaten run to 18 games when they face West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League on Saturday and a victory would extend their lead over second-placed Southampton to seven points at the summit of the league table.
But the Portuguese boss does not fear the prospect of picking up the first loss of the season and insists his side are strong enough mentally to bounce back from any such setback and avoid falling into a rut.
“The thing that gives us confidence is the results we are getting are not occasional. They’re because we’re playing well,” he told reporters.
“We believe that, when we lose points, the next game we are going to play well again.”
“Against Maribor in the Champions League [earlier in November], we lost two points but in the next game we were not in crisis. We were at Liverpool to play well again.”
“I don’t believe there’ll be a Chelsea crisis in the season. I believe Chelsea will lose points and matches, but not in a crisis of results. I truly believe in our ability.”
“We don’t have pressure to lead. The pressure is for the ones who are coming behind. I always felt the pressure when I was behind, not when I was on the top and I’ve always been competing for titles.”
“To be first is easier than to be second. If you’re first, you think just about yourself.”
Chelsea’s excellent form saw bookmakers Paddy Power pay out early to customers who backed the Blues for the title this season, but Mourinho dismissed suggestions his side were guaranteed to be champions.
He said: “I know we are playing very well. I know that clearly. But it’s pure, simple mathematics. We have played 11 matches. We have 27 to play. We’re not even halfway through the season, so it’s too early.”