Cesc Fabregas says Chelsea are still hungry, ready for title defence

Cesc Fabregas can see his Chelsea teammates' desire for success is undiminished by winning the Premier League as Jose Mourinho's men bid to retain the title this term.

Since Mourinho led Chelsea to back-to-back titles in 2004-05 and 2005-06 only Manchester United, with three in a row until 2008-09, have successfully retained the Premier League title.

Mourinho believes Chelsea will face competition from United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal in their bid for another title.

"That shows you it's very, very difficult to do it,'' said Fabregas, who last term was instrumental in Chelsea's first title since 2009-10. "United invested very well, Arsenal, City as well, spent a lot.

"We have to be up for it. We know we have the quality, but I can see in the faces of everyone the same drive, the same ambition as last year.

"I'm not worried about it. Even if that wasn't the case I know the manager would change it.

"We just have to play as well as we did last season. Then I'm sure we can win stuff.''

The Blues boss anticipates more defeats in a Premier League where even the so-called weaker teams are a threat.

"To win the Premier League, we don't need so many points as before,'' Mourinho said.

"I think more defeats, more lost points for the top teams. Crystal Palace buy (Yohan) Cabaye, as an example. I could give you much more examples.

"Welcome this mentality, welcome this economic power, welcome this ambition. If the Premier League was difficult, the Premier League will (now) be more difficult and I think less points to win the title.''

Fabregas insists Chelsea are not looking at their rivals and only making comparisons with themselves last term.

"We are playing against ourselves to be better than last year,'' the Spain playmaker added.

"I play against myself last year, I want to be better. If we all do better we have a big chance to retain it. But it will be difficult.''

Petr Cech left Chelsea this summer after 11 trophy-laden years to move to Arsenal for first-team football after losing his place in goal to Thibaut Courtois.

Former Gunners captain Fabregas said: "He gave a lot to the club. We respect his wish to play wherever. It's his decision.

"We want him happy. Hopefully not on Sunday.''

Mourinho repeated his wish to have a long career.

"I see myself going into the seventies,'' added the 52-year-old.

"I see myself now better than 10 years ago. I think I am in evolution, not even in stability.

"I don't see that I change for worse in any of my qualities, in any of my areas of interfere as a football coach. I'm feeling very good.''

Asked his best quality, Mourinho added: "My best quality? First of all I have to find one.''