Jose Mourinho says the Premier League is stronger than ever despite English clubs flopping in the Champions League this season.
Chelsea ended Mourinho's six-year exile in Italy and Spain when they reappointed him manager for his second stint at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
But the Portuguese refused to state that he was returning to a poorer top-flight in England.
"The Champions League is a thermometer of world football and English football was out of the competition too early," he told Chelsea TV.
"People were speaking about the level of the Premier League going down compared with other countries, but I don't believe that. Sometimes things happen when there are no reasons.
"But the Premier League is still a fantastic competition and I believe five or six teams are very strong.
"When I was here before it was more about us, Man United and Arsenal and after that there was a gap to the other teams.
"Now you can put five or six teams in the same plan, aiming to reach the Champions League spots which is very difficult, with those with more ambition aiming to win the Premier League.
"The competition will be fantastic and I hope I can beat the other clubs."