Souness: Chelsea are not invincible

Last updated at 11:54 22 September 2005

Newcastle boss Graeme Souness has insisted Chelsea will not run away with the Barclays Premiership despite their near faultless start to the campaign.

Souness, who picked up his first league win of the season at former club Blackburn, has, like most of his peers, looked on enviously as the reigning champions have established a six-point lead at the top of the table without conceding a single goal in six games.

However, despite fears that the title race could be over long before May, Souness is adamant the men from Stamford Bridge will not be allowed to establish a monopoly similar to the duopoly in Scotland, where as Rangers manager he only faced competition from Celtic for the title. He told the League Managers' Association website, "I don't believe that will happen.

"I believe the league down here is a lot stronger. Chelsea will know that in no game they play will they be guaranteed an easy game. They are going to have to battle hard and scrap and enjoy a bit of luck to win games.

"They are a very good team and they deserved to be champions last year, but their manager will know that there's no easy game in the Premiership. It's a long hard season for them as well and you can't take anything for granted in our league."

Taking nothing for granted

Souness has certainly been able to take little for granted during his time at St James' Park, and injuries and suspensions have made life difficult for him in recent weeks.

Sunday's victory at Ewood Park lifted spirits on Tyneside ahead of the visit of Manchester City on Saturday, but more importantly, skipper Alan Shearer ended his Premiership goals drought and £17million signing Michael Owen scored his first goal since returning to English football.

Owen's recruitment provided the Magpies with a major boost, and his new manager is confident that investment will yield a more than healthy return.

"Michael Owen is a world star," he said. "Strikers are always the ones who get the most publicity and I suppose the worst criticism if they don't score goals.

"We are all excited. It was a whole team effort to make Newcastle attractive for him and we are all delighted to have him. I'm sure he'll get lots of goals for Newcastle United, which will obviously help me do my job.

"I think it's a statement of intent by us. We have spent a lot of money this summer, but we haven't seen them all on the pitch at the same time yet. Hopefully that's not too far away."

Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.