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Mourinho wants titles not records

LONDON: Jose Mourinho doesn’t care about the prospect of setting an impressive new record with Chelsea because he is firmly focused on bringing the Premier League title back to Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho’s side maintained their six-point lead at the top of the table with a 3-0 win over Tottenham in midweek and visit Newcastle on Saturday looking to set a new club record by extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to 24 matches.

But that significant milestone doesn’t impress Blues boss Mourinho.

He was quick to insist he prioritises the chase for Chelsea’s first top-flight crown since 2010, while also suggesting his players are probably not even aware of the fact they could break new ground if they return from Newcastle unbeaten.

“They don’t know the record and if you don’t tell me 20 times I wouldn’t know. I don’t care about records,” Mourinho said.

“The record I want is to win the Premier League three times at this club, that’s all I want.

“I’m not looking for records, I’m looking for points, victories and points, and if possible at the end of the season, titles.

“The only thing that matters for me in the Premier League is that I’ve won the title twice.”

The Blues will welcome back top scorer Diego Costa at Newcastle after he sat out the Tottenham game through suspension.

Newcastle have gone two games without victory, having previously won five matches in a row, but they have been beaten only once at home this season — by champions Manchester City on the opening weekend.

Following a poor run of results, second-placed City appear to have rediscovered the form that swept them to last season’s title, having won their last four games in all competitions, scoring 12 goals in the process.

The second game of that run was a rousing 3-2 win at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League that gave Manuel Pellegrini’s side a fighting chance of reaching the last 16 going into next week’s showdown with Roma.

Ahead of Saturday’s home match with Everton, Stevan Jovetic said that the victory over Bayern could prove a turning point in City’s campaign.

“Honestly, in the Champions League we have not played well this season, but the game against Bayern helped us a lot,” the Montenegro forward told the club website.

“Now we are in a very good moment, but we must continue like this because we are playing every three days and that can change.”

– ‘Breath of fresh air’ –

Third-place Southampton lost ground on the top two after going down 1-0 at Arsenal on Wednesday and now find Manchester United breathing down their necks ahead of the two sides’ confrontation at St Mary’s on Monday.

United currently trail Chelsea by 11 points but although midfielder Marouane Fellaini is eager to bridge that gap, he acknowledges that Louis van Gaal’s side must first safeguard their position in the top four.

“I think we wait for a mistake (from the leading teams), but we have to look after us,” he said after his side’s 2-1 win at home to Stoke City.

“After Boxing Day (December 26), we have a lot of games and we have to keep winning. Southampton as well, they are better in the table than us and we’ll see on Monday as well.”

Arsenal’s victory over Southampton kept them within two points of the top four ahead of their trip to Stoke on Saturday.

Alexis Sanchez continued his fine start to life in England with an 89th-minute winner against Southampton and team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes the Chilean forward’s will to win is becoming contagious.

“He has brought that winning mentality to the side and I think it definitely rubs off on a lot of players,” said the England midfielder.

“He has been brilliant for us and a breath of fresh air, so hopefully he can stay in the form that he is in and we can help him out to keep producing goals like he has been.”

Liverpool, five points adrift of the top four after a 3-1 win at Leicester City, welcome Sunderland to Anfield on Saturday.

Fixtures

Saturday (1500 GMT unless otherwise stated):

Hull City v West Bromwich Albion, Liverpool v Sunderland, Manchester City v Everton (1730 GMT), Newcastle United v Chelsea (1245 GMT), Queens Park Rangers v Burnley, Stoke City v Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace

Sunday:

Aston Villa v Leicester City (1600 GMT), West Ham United v Swansea City (1330 GMT)

Monday (2000 GMT):

Southampton v Manchester United

AFP

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