The majority of Chelsea fans would rather keep Jose Mourinho as manager than re-hire Carlo Ancelotti or appoint another candidate, a fans poll has found.
Mourinho is under increasing pressure following Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, which left the reigning champions 15th in the Premier League table.
Mourinho insists he expects to see out his contract at Stamford Bridge, while Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher feels the Portuguese coach should stay in charge, despite his embarrassing comments in the media.
Ancelotti, along with several other high-profile bosses, has been tipped to replace Mourinho should Blues owner Roman Abramovich decide to wield the axe, although the Portuguese remains the preferred choice of almost half the 15,543 people polled.
47 per cent of those answered ‘None of them’ when asked who they would like to see replace Mourinho, with popular former Blues manager Ancelotti claiming 16 per cent fewer votes.
Two others with Chelsea connections, Guus Hiddink, who lifted the FA Cup as interim manager in 2009, and Brendan Rodgers, who worked as Academy and reserve team coach between 2004 and 2008, made up 22 per cent of the votes between them.
Perhaps surprisingly, though, it was Rodgers who was the more popular choice, despite his recent dismissal as Liverpool manager, claiming 14 per cent of the votes.
Hiddink, who won the European Cup with PSV Eindhoven in 1988 and later managed Spanish giants Valencia and Real Madrid, has been out of work since leaving his position as Netherlands head coach earlier this year.
Ancelotti, who has lifted three Champions Leagues as a manager, was dismissed by Madrid in June and emerged as contender for the Liverpool manager’s job prior to Jurgen Klopp’s appointment last month.
The Italian won a league and FA Cup double during his two-year stay in west London but was sacked after leading Chelsea to a second-placed finish in 2010-11, much to the disappointment of many Blues supporters.
However, his popularity at Stamford Bridge pales into insignificance when compared to Mourinho, whose name was chanted vociferously even after Liverpool went 3-1 up at the weekend.
The fans’ unwavering support may be the only thing keeping the 52-year-old in a job, although defeats to either Dynamo Kiev or Stoke City this week may prove the final straw for Abramovich.
Mourinho remains the most successful manager in Chelsea history, having lifted three Premier League titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup during his two spells in charge.
In the six years without him the Blues won only won league title, although they remained successful in the cups and managed to secure the more coveted Champions League trophy under interim boss Roberto Di Matteo.
By Aiden Cusick
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