Bilic: You must respect Mourinho

Ahead of their first competitive meeting on Saturday, West Ham United's Slaven Bilic was full of praise for Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic believes even if you love or hate Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho, you must respect what he has achieved in his career.

Mourinho has endured a tough time this season as reigning Premier League champions Chelsea languish in 12th position, while the Portuguese's off-field antics have attracted unwanted attention.

Despite the scrutiny, Bilic said he has nothing but praise for Mourinho, revealing how the three-time Premier League winner went out of his way to contact him following his arrival at Upton Park in June.

"I was pleased and since then we are exchanging texts," he said. "I like him a lot. I really like him.

"He is everything but boring. For the media as well, he is like a magnet. He is a top, top man.

"The most successful people, the most charismatic people, the No1s, they are always polarising people.

"You love them or hate them. I am not trying to campaign to become a president or prime minister of England. I am not talking about why the people love him or hate him.

"But there's no chance that you don’t respect him and all that he has done. His CV is unbelievable."

West Ham, who sit in fourth in the Premier League, host Chelsea at Upton Park on Saturday.