BBC Sport, Thursday, November 30, 2006 5:16 PM
Throughout the years, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has proven himself to be a master of subtle mind games, through which he has been able to unsettle the likes of Kevin Keegan, when he
was manager of Newcastle, and Kenny Dalglish, the former Liverpool boss. Chelsea's Jose Mourinho is equally good with mind games but he takes a more direct, and some would say, arrogant approach. "I
don't think it will take a lot of time to be top of the league," Mourinho said yesterday after his side's 1-0 win. Why? Man United has had the easier schedule, he says, having played Arsenal,
Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton all at home during the first half of the season. "With the very good run Manchester United are having, they have to be frustrated to have only a three-point lead,"
Mourinho added. On paper, Chelsea's next three fixtures don't look any tougher than United's-in fact they look a great deal more difficult-but the Sky Blues get to enjoy this weekend off due to
Newcastle United's obligation to the UEFA Cup. Instead, Chelsea's next fixture is Tuesday's Champions League clash versus Group A whipping boy Levski Sofia. Next weekend it's Arsenal at home, followed
by the Newcastle makeup, and then Everton at Goodison Park. United this weekend faces a tough fixture against Middlesbrough at the Riverside before a must-win versus Benfica in the Champion's League
on Wednesday. Next weekend is derby day versus Man City at Old Trafford and then West Ham at Upton Park. For the moment, Ferguson is resisting the temptation to enter into a war of words with
Mourinho. "That kind of thing will always happen," he said. "The important thing is we are in a position to worry about them."
Read the whole story at BBC Sport »