Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says losing the support of the club’s players is the only thing that could make him quit Stamford Bridge.
Southampton’s 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday left the Premier League champions 16th in the standings and led to the inevitable suggestion that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich would be firing another manager.
The Blues board are reported to have held a board meeting after the game in which they decided to retain Mourinho – for now, at least – and the Portuguese is certainly not planning to walk away from the job, despite being in the midst of the worst run of results of his trophy-laden career.
Mourinho has suggested that the media, rather than report speculation, should speak directly to the players who do not go on international duty to ask whether they remain behind him as manager.
He said: “People can say what they want. You should really ask the players and not go with sources and fake sources, and the players told a friend, and the friend told the agent, and the agent is not happy with me because I don’t play his players.
“You should go straight to the players. Get our media office to arrange a table at Cobham (Chelsea’s training ground) next week, John Terry doesn’t go to the national team, Diego Costa doesn’t go, Ramires doesn’t go. Ask them.
“If they tell you they don’t trust me, (that) is the only thing that can make me resign. The only thing. But not fake sources. The players at the table.”
Mourinho insisted he was handling the spell well, after a fourth loss in eight Premier League games.
“It makes me understand how big a guy I am,” the Portuguese said.
“I am not afraid. I’m not crying, I’m not desperate. It makes me realise how big I was, how big I am.
“When you win and you win titles and you are champion, life is easy. It’s easy to be proud. It’s easy to be what you are.
“In this moment it’s not so easy and my feelings – I’m so unhappy with the sport feeling of defeat but I am so happy with myself with the way I am facing this.”
Mourinho does not doubt the quality of his squad and believes an about-turn in confidence or good fortunate will help his players sooner or later.
“Only Mother Nature can do it,” he said.
“They need to feel luck, they need to arrive at half-time winning 2-0, 3-0.
“They need to fly without pressure, they need to play and feel that everything is going in their favour.
“Not to feel this pressure, this panic, this negativity. Decisions against, unlucky, mistakes.
“They need it. Time will bring it. I don’t know next match, in two matches, in three. For sure they will get that confidence back, for sure.”
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