David Moyes backed to prosper at Manchester United - by rival manager Jose Mourinho

The Chelsea boss says Monday night's opponent will succeed

Jose Mourinho expects David Moyes to thrive as Manchester United manager and does not expect the challenge of succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson to phase the former Everton boss.

Mourinho takes his Chelsea side to Old Trafford on Monday for an opportunity to strike an early blow in the Barclays Premier League title race.

The defending champions and the Blues are under new leadership this term, but Mourinho expects the same challenge he faced against Ferguson's United.

"There are things that we cannot change," Mourinho said.

"David has experience and he knows that he cannot change history. The history that Sir Alex did is there and it is there forever.

"Is that a problem for David? I don't think so. I think David doesn't want to be compared with Sir Alex.

"I think he's in the best moment of his career - maturity, experience, a big, big, big club, very good players. I think he's in a fantastic position and I think he's going to do very well.

"I hope he doesn't win everything and he will leave something for the others, but he's in fantastic condition."

Mourinho enjoyed a close relationship with Ferguson, who informed the Portuguese of his intention to retire before making the announcement public.

After being omnipresent at Old Trafford during Mourinho's time in management, now there will be a different face in the Old Trafford dugout.

"For me the difference is the routine of meeting a friend, of being together and relaxed before the match," added Mourinho, reflecting on his time in opposition to Ferguson.

"You have the guarantee that after the match, independent of the result, we are together again, enjoying our time and having a laugh.

"With David we don't have this kind of relationship, but we have a good relationship.

"I think we can start this kind of very nice relationship I had always with Sir Alex, no problem.

"During the game, it's a game. It's not manager against manager. It's club against club, it's 11 against 11, it's big players against big players. We just do our job normally."

A potential break in the relationship could be caused by Mourinho's pursuit of Wayne Rooney.

Twice Chelsea have had bids rejected for the Manchester United striker and Mourinho has said a third bid will be made after Monday's match.

Asked how Mourinho will feel if Rooney plays against his side, the self-styled Special One said: "The same emotions I always feel when I play against him.

"I played against him with Real Madrid and with Chelsea and with Inter. The emotions is you have to be worried with a good player. No more than that."

PA

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