Jose Mourinho says he was told in no uncertain terms by Chelsea’s players in a meeting this week that they want him to remain as manager.
Goals from Steven Davis, Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle earned Southampton a first win at Stamford Bridge since January 2002 on Saturday, with the Blues, who had taken the lead through Willian’s free-kick, booed off after a fourth loss in eight Premier League games left them 16th in the table, one place below Bournemouth.
But Mourinho maintains he has the support of his players.
“Do the players trust me and feel that I am the man for the job? This week we spoke about it and the answer was undoubted,” Mourinho said.
The Portuguese believes Chelsea have learned from the managerial hirings and firings of Roman Abramovich’s 12-year ownership and does not believe the Russian should speak out in support of him for the first time.
“The owner’s profile all over these years of not speaking is fabulous. I would love to do the same,” added Mourinho, who declined to say when he would next see Abramovich, who was at the match.
“The owner has that privilege. I don’t think the owner needs a word, not even the club, the board, nobody. Not at all.
“When I was contacted to be back, I was told we had so many managers, we know you are the best.
“So I think it’s time for the club to act in a different way, to mark a position, a position of stability, a position of trust.
“Three months ago we were all together in the bus with the cups. I think it’s time for all of us to be together now in the bottom of the league.”
On the dissent from the supporters, Mourinho said: “If they have some negative reaction, I would do the same, because the results are not the results that we want.”
Mourinho has almost conceded defeat in the title race, with Manchester City 10 points ahead, but still believes he can lead the Blues to a top-four finish and Champions League place.
“To be champions will be very difficult. Ten points (to) Man City, maybe tomorrow 11 points (to) Man United,” Mourinho added.
“In football it’s not impossible, but I think very difficult. Top four is completely – I don’t say easy – but doable.”