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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is still expecting Manchester United to pose a threat in the Premier League despite their poor start to the campaign.
In his first season in charge, manager David Moyes has struggled with life at Old Trafford and after their 1-0 defeat to Everton on Wednesday night they sit 12 points behind league leaders Arsenal.
Former Real Madrid boss Mourinho admits Arsenal deserve to be on top but he is calm about the prospect of closing the gap on them, with the majority of the season still to play.
Mourinho, who takes his side to Stoke on Saturday, said: “If it was another club I’d tell you it’s impossible, but with Manchester United I don’t say that.
“The reasons are because of the potential of the team, what the club represents and the culture of the club.
“It’s not a club in panic. It’s not a club where you feel the end of the world is arriving. They are calm, they go the same way and support the manager. Nobody touches the manager.
“They have a project. If they don’t win this season they believe they will win next season.
“It’s a very, very stable situation and an example to many others. Because of that they are still a contender.”
United entertain in-form Newcastle at Old Trafford on Saturday in the early Premier League game.