The Chelsea manager reflects on a remarkable winning season and how good it is to be back in the Barclays Premier League, where every match counts.

Tell us just how difficult it is to win the Barclays Premier League.

It is more difficult than ever. I would say it is the most difficult one to win because it is very, very competitive, with very good teams. Even with the points difference we had from the beginning of the season, it was still very hard.

What do you think makes this League so hard?

First of all, it is the mentality. Mentality is very important and in this country, even the teams without the same human potential than the top teams in the League really fight; they really believe and every game becomes very competitive. So mentality is a big part of it, and second I think is the good financial situation that every club has. I think it allows them – even the smaller and promoted teams – to get good players, have good squads and be competitive.

What would you say was your favourite moment of the season?

You know, let me choose two. I would say the first match of the season at Burnley, because it was the first feeling of the quality of football that Chelsea could play during the season. We played fantastically well that match. We scored, in my opinion, maybe the most beautiful goal collectively speaking, which was our second, André Schürrle’s goal. I would also choose the last second of Chelsea v Crystal Palace, when the referee finished the game and Chelsea were mathematically champions.

Gary Cahill and Matt Taylor – Chelsea vs Burnely

The atmosphere is fantastic, it is a pleasure even to be an opponent, even to be the away team, it is a pleasure to play in this country.José Mourinho, Chelsea

Who would you say was your most difficult opponent this season?

I have to be pragmatic and choose the only two teams that we couldn’t beat; we didn’t lose against them but we didn’t beat them. Manchester City, two matches, two draws and Southampton, two matches, two draws.

Mourinho with Premier League Winning medal

It’s been another very strong year for the Chelsea Academy. How good a job would you say they continue to do?

I’m happy with the talent. Obviously I’m happy with their results, competitively speaking, it’s very nice and good for the players to grow up with the feeling of winning. However, the reality is that they are not the end product and even when they are talents there is a long way to go. I feel that it is part of my job to fulfil this space.

What would you say about the passion and atmosphere in stadiums in English football?

I keep speaking about this and I think I did great propaganda when I was working outside England, when I was in Italy or in Spain and I said I never had my same passion for the game in England and for the atmosphere. The atmosphere is fantastic, it is a pleasure even to be an opponent, even to be the away team. It is a pleasure to play in this country.

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