Jose Mourinho backed up his promise on Tuesday to welcome those in his pre-match press conference with a champagne reception to celebrate his 51st birthday last Sunday.

Mourinho was informed after the 1-0 FA Cup victory over Stoke that his predecessor Rafael Benitez has provided birthday cake for those journalists in attendance on his birthday last season. Not one to be outdone, Mourinho upped the ante and had champagne on arrival much to everyone’s pleasure.

The Portuguese rarely misses out on an opportunity, and used the gesture to predict how Chelsea’s season was panning out – champagne being the key word.

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“We have to drink champagne because we are improving,” Mourinho said.

“I think we are improving a lot: the team, the players, so the prospectives of champagne in the future are good. I think we are going into a good direction.”

Whether he will be celebrating or not come the end of the season is not yet known, but in his eyes he faces a stiff test to taste Premier League success as he continues to tip Manchester City for the title.

Mourinho even went as far as to say that his side would have a much better chance at topping the table next season rather than the current campaign, and that the development of his players was a more important factor in the second half of the season.

Should the next four months pan out like Mourinho suggests, the champagne may have to be put on ice.

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