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Football: I'll never match Fergie's haul of trophies; UNITED BOSS SO SPECIAL JOSE MOURINHO TALKS TO SUNDAY MIRROR SPORT.

Byline: From PAUL SMITH in New York

JOSE MOURINHO may claim to be the Special One, but admits he will never earn the right to be mentioned in the same breath as Sir Alex Ferguson.

While Mourinho took the Premiership by storm last season and looks set to fill the Chelsea trophy cabinet with silverware for years to come, he insists that following in the footsteps of the Manchester United boss is an impossible task.

"I can't honestly say I deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as him," said Mourinho. "How many championships has he won? Ten, and 25 pieces of silverware.

"I cannot achieve that. Partly because I won't stay in England long enough and also because I think in modern football you cannot achieve this.

"It's a record only achievable in England because England is the only country in the world where a manager can stay for such a long period.

"For him to have been there for 17 years is because every season it has been silverware, silverware, silverware. And that makes him a very special manager."

Mourinho admits he doesn't pass up the opportunity to spend time with Ferguson.

"We meet up at the coaching meetings in Geneva. We have lunch together and we speak about football. And when you spend time with someone that helps you understand the person.

"And I meet him after matches and you must have a good feeling to spend time with an opposing manager because football is a war so normally you are not ready to spend 10-15 minutes with your opponent.

"But we have a lot of respect for one another's work and it makes it easy for us to get on."

Mourinho also has a word of advice for Fergie and his rival managers who claim Chelsea will have a blip during the forthcoming campaign.

"I have meetings with my players all the time and I know the motivation to be successful again this season is there," he said.

"The typical speech given by rival managers last season was that we would have a blip.

"So everyone was sleeping on the blip because the blip was going to happen. The blip will come in December, at Easter.

"After the first defeat the blip would arrive and when someone got injured the blip was definitely coming.

"This season no one gives speeches about blips. Now they just believe they have to be better.

"They know they have to be better and believe me they will be better. But will they be better than Chelsea?"

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MOURINHO: 'I can't honestly say I deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Fergie'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 31, 2005
Words:445
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