Video: 'I’ll accept criticism from the best, but not from Robbie Savage' - John Terry
Chelsea captain John Terry has rejected claims that his team-mates have turned against manager Jose Mourinho, as he offered his full backing to his beleaguered boss.
Terry was the high profile front man at Chelsea’s media briefing ahead of the Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev, with his defence of Mourinho fulsome as he spoke up for the coach who has endured the most troubled spell of his decorated career.
Reports had suggested that Chelsea players were not willing to perform for Mourinho after a calamitous start to their title defence, with reports that one suggested he “would rather lose than win for him” receiving widespread media coverage in recent days.
Mourinho heads into Wednesday night’s Champions League game against Dynamo Kiev at Stamford Bridge under mounting pressure after his side lost their seventh game of the season against Liverpool on Saturday, with Terry convinced the team remain behind their manager.
“We are a dressing room that stays together, we have seen the last two or three days of ridiculous stories,” said Terry, clearly referring to the story that one player was prepare to lose matches to undermine Mourinho.
“I can assure the players are 100 per-cent behind the manager. We are together, anyone who has been at the last four of five games can see we have been extremely unlucky. In all aspects he is by far the best manager I have worked with. I'm sure we will turn this around. We stay together.
"The manager is very demanding, he wants players to win, he takes a lot of the responsibility on his own shoulders. He is devastated when we don't win and collectively we will bounce back and climb up the league table.
"He is under pressure because of the way we are performing. Collectively we know we need to be better for him. It is unfair he takes the criticism. We are prepared to fight and anyone who has been at the games can see that.
"In my whole career, I have never heard a player say he would rather lose than win for a manager. It is ridiculous I have to talk about it. It hurts because people are fighting. Us feeling like we have let the fans, the managers down.”
Earlier in the day, Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas issued a statement on Twitter denying he was the ring leader of a campaign to undermine Mourinho, with the Blues boss pictured smiling during a training session that was open to the media.
Mourinho’s own press conference was less than revealing, yet he insisted he would find a way to turn Chelsea’s season around as he stated his belief that his side would finish top of their Champions League group.
Meanwhile, Terry offered a wonderful final repost to one of his own critics to conclude his press conference, as he suggested former Crewe and Leicester midfielder Robbie Savage was in no position to offer comment on the current crisis afflicting the Premier League champions.
“We are where we are,” he added. “I have come under criticism from players I have looked up to and take it on the chin. Rio (Ferdinand), Gary Neville etc.
“When certain other people speak, maybe I don't listen from players who have played at a really bad level, who haven't had a career. Robbie Savage being one. He has dug me out a couple of times. I take it from the very best, other people no.”
Terry’s feisty performance in front of the media now needs to be backed up on the field, with Chelsea facing up to two vital games in the coming days against Dynamo Kiev and Stoke.
After that, Mourinho’s fate may well be a lot more clear.