Mourinho: I always play mind games
Jose Mourinho declared "everything is mind games" as he again played down Chelsea's Barclays Premier League title challenge on Friday.
The self-proclaimed Special One insisted Chelsea were third favourites behind Premier League leaders Arsenal and Manchester City after Monday's 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium which ended City's 100 per cent home record.
Mourinho maintained that stance ahead of Saturday's clash with Newcastle when asked if he was engaged in a psychological battle with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini of Manchester City.
"Everything I say is mind games," Mourinho said.
"Everything I do is mind games. Everything is mind games.
"The only thing that is not mind games is the results. That's not mind games."
Mourinho's tone could have been construed as sarcastic, but he took the opportunity to suggest Arsenal and City are performing below his expectations.
"We are there (in title contention) because we are doing very well or because maybe Man City and Arsenal are not doing as well as they should with the conditions they have," Mourinho said.
"Do we dream to win the Premier League? Of course. If we don't, we don't play.
"Do we want to win the next game against Newcastle and be there? Of course.
"If we have the chance to win we are not going to say we don't want to, but we have not the same responsibilities, that's for sure.
"When we lost two points against West Ham (in a 0-0 draw), many people were saying we have no attacking power to win every match and to win the Premier League and to compete against teams that score goals and goals and goals and goals.
"Just because we won against Man City, now people are changing their opinion. But I know where we are, I know that we are good and working well and playing well, but we are going step by step."
Chelsea could overtake Arsenal, if the leaders lose at Liverpool on Saturday, while second-placed City play at Norwich.
Mourinho added: "I'm not saying we are not going to win.
"I'm saying we are not candidates. I'm saying we are outsiders.
"I'm saying we are playing our league, against ourselves, to try to improve against the other opponents to try to get the best result.
"We are not a squad like Man City's with every player in the best moment of their careers, all of them working together for quite a long time. A manager (Manuel Pellegrini) that arrived and the team was there ready for him.
"Arsenal are the biggest example of the stability, the biggest example of a manager (Arsene Wenger) working with players year after year.
"We are different. We are beginning. In the first day of the next pre-season I will say yes we are there and we accept that Chelsea as a candidate. Today, no."
Chelsea have experience of winning the title, yet one of the survivors from the 2010 Premier League triumph is out of favour at present.
England left-back Ashley Cole is due to run out of contract at the end of the season and his former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry has reportedly told him to move to Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls.
Mourinho, who believes Cole could stay at Chelsea beyond the summer despite currently favouring Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back, added: "Maybe Thierry is doing with the Red Bulls the same as David (Beckham) did with Miami.
"Yes he has (a future at Chelsea), but maybe Thierry has a better proposal."
Mourinho, who refused to be drawn on reports Chelsea will bid to sign Edinson Cavani from Paris St Germain in the summer, is still without striker Fernando Torres (knee) against Newcastle.
Mohamed Salah could make his debut after being an unused substitute at City, while Torres could play against West Brom on Tuesday.
The next three Premier League teams Chelsea face - Newcastle, West Brom and Everton - are sides from whom the Blues claimed just one point in corresponding fixtures earlier this season.
But since the November 2 loss at St James' Park, Chelsea have lost just once in the Premier League.
The Blues are unbeaten in nine league games since the loss at Stoke and Mourinho remains unbeaten at Stamford Bridge in the league, a run of 72 games.
Mourinho bemoaned his players' complacency at Newcastle, but believes they have learned from the loss.
He added: "We are improving. In this moment (last season) Chelsea were outside of every possible race and struggling to get a top-four position to play Champions League.
"I see the boys enjoying the situation very much and that's what I want them to do."