Mourinho hits back at Wenger

Mourinho’s side lead Arsenal by 10 points and could take a significant step to winning the Premier League for the first time in five years with victory at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said defensive coaching was not difficult after Chelsea’s snatch-and-grab win at Anfield last season and this week Wenger said: “It is easy to defend.”

Mourinho said: “It’s not easy. If it was easy, you wouldn’t lose 3-1 at home to Monaco. If he defends well he draws 0-0 against Monaco and wins in Monte Carlo. It’s not easy to prepare a team to defend.”

Mourinho refused to budge from his view that Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City are in contention for the title.

He said: “I don’t care about other things. We are the best team since day one and we want to be the best team until the last day. But, mathematically, they can still be champions. It matters what I feel, not what people feel, think or say,” he said.

The change from the free-flowing attacking philosophy which had many pundits purring earlier in the season was prompted by injuries and suspensions to key personnel, including Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic.

Mourinho said: “We lost progressively the balance of our team. When you lose crucial pieces, the team loses certain qualities. The switch in style was just a consequence of things.

“I hope to start next season the same way we started this season. This is the way we want to play, this is the way we played during the season, and the team we enjoy more.

“But it’s (also) very enjoyable to deal with a difficult moment, to deal in a strategic way.??When you are in the sea and have no boat, you need something to survive. A raft. In football, team spirit and team ethics and strategy is this.

“If we manage to win the Premier League, we did everything right. Looking at where Chelsea were in the last four or five years, in terms of the Premier League, it means a lot. I think it’s a great achievement for us.”