Jose Mourinho believes Chelsea will be pushed all the way even if they complete a wire-to-wire Premier League title triumph.
The Blues, who have led from the first round of matches and face Hull today, entered the weekend’s fixtures with a six-point lead and a game in hand.
“I would enjoy much more having 20 points more,” said Mourinho, downplaying the suggestion he thrives on the pressure.
“We have been chased since day one, since August. The others have good teams, have ambitions. They don’t let us enjoy an easy ride.”
Mourinho rued, once again, the European exit which denied Chelsea a Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona.
Paris St Germain, Chelsea’s conquerors in the last 16, drew the Catalans in Friday’s draw.
Had the Blues progressed, their schedule would have been challenging, with Premier League matches with Manchester United and Arsenal either side of the Champions League last eight, which they will now watch from afar.
There is a benefit, though, as Chelsea have a solitary focus.
Mourinho said: “It’s the second time I don’t reach a quarter-final in all my career. I would prefer to be there.
“I would like to be in that position. I would like to be playing Barcelona, United, Barcelona, Arsenal.
“The fact we went out gives us a frustrating situation. That we don’t hide.
“But it gives us a situation where we can work properly, we can rest properly and – if things go in the direction I expect and the players expect – we can finish the season in a very strong way.”