Chelsea have issued a statement to insist that Jose Mourinho is “the right manager to turn this season around”.
Mourinho admits he is experiencing the worst time of his managerial career, with Chelsea languishing in 16th place in the Premier League table.
Their recent run has prompted speculation that the champions could be ready to axe another manager, but the Blues issued a statement on their website on Monday afternoon to make it clear that Mourinho retains their backing.
It read: “The club wants to make it clear that Jose continues to have our full support.”
“As Jose has said himself, results have not been good enough and the team’s performances must improve. However, we believe that we have the right manager to turn this season around and that he has the squad with which to do it.”
Chelsea paraded the title and the Capital One Cup through west London just five months ago, and the speed of the subsequent decline is alarming following a worst start to a season for 37 years.
Nevertheless, Monday’s statement indicates owner Roman Abramovich has decided to stand by Mourinho, with a board meeting said to have been held following Saturday’s match at Stamford Bridge
Mourinho enjoyed a highly successful first spell from June 2004 to September 2007 before returning in June 2013, and the former Real Madrid manager recently signed a new four-year deal worth around some £8.5million a season.
The 52-year-old, meanwhile, is adamant he will not be quitting.
”People can say what they want. I think you should go straight to the players,” Mourinhosaid following Saturday’s defeat.
”If they tell you they don’t trust me, (that) is the only thing that can make me resign. The only thing.”
Chelsea resume after the international break at home against Aston Villa, one of just four teams beneath them in the table, on October 17.
Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic believes a united front is the only way forwards.
“We need to show great character and not feel sorry for ourselves. We need to work our way out of this. It happens to the best teams and players and we need to stick together,” he said.
The Football Association, meanwhile, could yet examine the comments made byMourinho with regards to the performance of referee Robert Madley.
The Chelsea manager was unhappy at the decision not to award a penalty when, with the scores at 1-1, forward Radamel Falcao was upended by Saints goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
He said afterwards: “When everything goes against you, you need these decisions. One thing teams are not afraid of is to make penalties against us because they make them all the time and the referees they never give.
“It is a big confidence they feel because they are not afraid to be aggressive in the box.
“I tell my players to be careful in the box. These opponents know that they don’t have to feel that pressure.”