Mourinho expects Chelsea to overtake United

November 30, 2006

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes his side will overtake Manchester United at the top of the Premiership sooner rather than later.

He said: 'We are doing well and this game is a great example of our how well we are performing.

'I am happy to be in this position when I look at the fixtures we and Manchester United have had in the first period of the season.

'But now is time to win matches consecutively and go top of the league as soon as possible.'

Mourinho believes Michael Ballack will be a huge success at the club because 'he is a team player'.

The former Bayern Munich midfielder scored the winner in the 1-0 victory against Bolton - his third league goal in his debut Premiership season.

Ballack headed home Frank Lampard`s corner in first-half stoppage time, which came at the end of a spell of unrelenting pressure from a Chelsea side without injured pair Joe Cole and Arjen Robben.

England international Cole could be out for up to three weeks because of a bruised foot.

'I am pleased with Ballack, not just because he scored the winning goal,' said Mourinho.

'I am pleased with everything. It was crucial in this game to keep the ball, defend well and press high.

'I paired him with Claude Makelele and Ballack is a team player. His contribution was great.'

It needed a good block from goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini in stoppage time from El-Hadji Diouf to deny Bolton an equaliser.

Manager Sam Allardyce, who had seen his team defeat Arsenal at the weekend, thought the Senegal striker could have done better.

'Diouf tried a little flick when he had enough time to bring it down and put it in,' said the Bolton boss.

'But it was a terrific second half performance by my team and really pleasing. Chelsea are always be difficult to play against, home and away.

'We are disappointed we have not nicked a point. We gave it our best shot and I cannot ask any more than that.

'We created chances and took the game to the opposition and tried to get back in it.

'I was hoping to get in at half time at 0-0 and we were a split second away from doing that.

'I know they deserved that goal for way played against us but the result could have been different.'