Jonny Evans, the Manchester United defender, is unsure whether José Mourinho will make a big difference to Chelsea in his second tenure as manager.
United are preparing to face the Portuguese's side on Monday in David Moyes's first home league game at Old Trafford, which follows the convincing 4-1 victory at Swansea City on Saturday. But Chelsea impressed the following day in their 2-0 defeat of Hull City and then won 2-1 against Aston Villa on Wednesday night.
During his first stint in charge of Chelsea, beginning in 2004-05, Mourinho won consecutive championships in his opening two seasons yet Evans believes only time will tell regarding how successful the Portuguese can be at the west London club. "Everyone's been saying that he will make a big difference to Chelsea but we will have to wait and see if that will be the case," the defender said. "He is a good manager and I am sure he will make a big impact on them. But it's maybe over the next month or two before we realise who is going to be challenging for the league.
"Managers have a big influence and that's why they are in such high demand. That's why Mourinho is in high demand because he has been so successful. Obviously, they have a big impact on the team with the way they set them up. I think a lot of the time it's all about spurring the team [on] and trusting the players.
"He had that [previous] spell at Chelsea where he gave them a lot of confidence and they were successful at that time. But it remains to be seen if he can have that impact again."
On the challenge of facing Chelsea, Evans said: "You don't expect to come up against your big rivals as soon as this but it's at home and is the manager's first game, so I am sure everyone at Old Trafford will be up for it. I thought they played well [on Sunday]. It took Hull quite a while to get settled into it as it was their first game back in the Premier League.
"Chelsea were impressive and they closed down well. It was probably similar to the way Real Madrid played against us last season at their place [in the 1-1 Champions League last-16 first leg]. It was a very high-tempo game and I am sure he will be wanting Chelsea to play the same."
Evans is pleased with the win over Swansea as it relieved the focus on Moyes. "We lost our first game of the season last season and managed to go on and win the league, so you can't read too much into it. But we are under a bit of pressure with David Moyes coming in. If he didn't get off to a good start all of you guys might be on his back," he said.
Evans hailed Moyes's start as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor. "The atmosphere around the place is very good and I think everyone is really looking forward to it," the Northern Irishman said. "He seems like a fair guy and everyone appreciates that.
"People like to know where they stand and I think it's just the same as with the previous manager – nothing has changed. He will want to put his own stamp on the team which is what he has done and I'm sure you will see that throughout the season."