Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has praised the Blue fans for their support following the 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United.

The West London side suffered their first defeat of the season at St James Park on Saturday 6 December to put an end to an impressive 23-game unbeaten run.

But following a brace from Papiss Cisse, the 3,000 fans who travelled to Newcastle supported the team until the very last minute in Chelsea's attempt to turnaround the score – with Didier Drogba scoring a late goal in getting the result to 2-1.

Having questioned the Chelsea fans earlier in the season for their lack of support during the home win over Queens Park Rangers, Mourinho seized the opportunity to thank them for their contribution.

"They were good. They pushed the team, I think they read the game and I think that they saw that the team was trying everything and that they deserved their support," the boss said to Chelsea's official website.

"The good thing is that when we start the game next week against Hull City, if they want to sing something the best song that they can sing is 'We're top of the league'."

Meanwhile, Mourinho played down the importance of the defeat, insisting Chelsea performance eventually deserved a better result from the game.

"The players have the same mood as me. Not jumping with happiness but accepting the defeat as part of the game. They tried everything. They were unlucky, they were not happy with that, but that's football," he said.

"People like me with so many years in football have to accept this. Normally I wouldn't accept it if we came to Newcastle and didn't play – it would be very strange. But to come to Newcastle and be better than the opponent and lose, it happens."

Even though Chelsea missed the opportunity to match Arsenal's "invincibles" season, where the north London club went through a whole campaign undefeated, Mourinho reminded the Blues they are still three points ahead of Manchester City.

He said: "Are we the best? No, I don't say my team is the best, I say my team is top of the league and at this moment no one has the same points as we have and so because of that at this moment we are the best team in the Premier League.

"Nobody has done better than us, and everybody would like to be in our position, so we are more than fine."