Ray Wilkins does not believe Chelsea’s players have turned against Jose Mourinho, who he expects to stay in charge at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues suffered their sixth defeat in 11 Premier League matches against Liverpool on Saturday, increasing the pressure on the Portuguese.
There have been suggestions that his relationship with some key players is approaching breaking point, but Wilkins, who worked on the club’s coaching staff under Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlo Ancelotti, thinks that is unlikely.
“I think they’re behind Mourinho – they’re just not performing,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek.
“That’s one of Jose’s major assets. He has the ability not to control but to actually talk and get all the players on his side.
“I believe Chelsea have some wonderful senior pros in there that will control the dressing room, as they have done for the last ‘x’ amount of years.”
Wilkins added that any disillusionment was more likely to come from those who were not in favour rather than those involved in Chelsea’s poor run.
“In any dressing room, if a player isn’t selected, a player’s unhappy. You keep 11 and the rest are disgruntled.”
Speculation is rising as to whether owner Roman Abramovich will fire Mourinho for the second time, but a paucity of viable alternatives may be in his favour.
“I think Jose will (still) be in the job,” Wilkins said. “Who can take over? There’s only Carlo Ancelotti out there at the moment that is out of work and can fill the position. I think they’ll continue with Jose.”
Avram Grant, the man who replaced Mourinho at Stamford Bridge after his first spell ended acrimoniously in 2007, feels the Portuguese deserves more time.
“It’s one man’s decision but if you ask me I think Jose needs to continue with the job and solve the problem by his self,” the Israeli told the same programme.
“Sometimes when you are inside you know the problem better than anybody.
“We the past of Jose, that he did so well for Chelsea, so he deserves more time.”
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