Sunday 25 February 2018

Jose Mourinho: Roman Abramovich believes I am the right man for the job

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Matt McGeehan

Jose Mourinho refuses to contemplate the sack from Chelsea, insisting his side's predicament is not his sole responsibility.

Chelsea play Mourinho's former club Porto on Wednesday night looking to put Premier League woes aside by reaching the Champions League knockout stages.

Mourinho was subject to the first managerial vote of confidence of Roman Abramovich's 12-year ownership on October 5, but fortunes have hardly improved since.

The defending Barclays Premier League champions are 14th after eight defeats, including at home to newly-promoted Bournemouth last Saturday.

"This is not a one-man responsibility," Mourinho said.

"There are no ifs. Wins, draw, or lose. I am an optimistic guy. There are no ifs.

"I did lots of good things in this club for the owner to know the quality I have. And if the owner shows me that belief twice - one when he brought me back to the club, the second time when he gave me a new contract, for four years - I don't think the owner is a person to change with the wind.

"I know the wind with the results is an important wind. I know this wind is really strong, because the results in the Premier League are really bad, but I think the owner knows who I am, what I gave to the club and the owner believes I am the right person to do the job.

"Now I don't speak about the owner. I speak just about the reality of the situation. You can read these bad results and focus everything on the manager.

"You can look at the results and look to players with performances below acceptable.

"You can look to this and look to the unlucky decisions that we are having in every competition, not just the Premier League.

"You can look in many directions and you can decide."

ourinho took confidence from the support of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who on Monday said Abramovich would be "foolish" to sack the Portuguese.

"I didn't read. I didn't watch. Some people told me (about it)," Mourinho said.

"And it's the difference between the friends and the fake friends. Sir Alex is my friend. Obviously the words are very nice. He's not the kind of person who says just because he likes somebody.

"He's always honest in his analysis and I thank him."

With Dynamo Kiev expected to beat Maccabi Tel Aviv, Chelsea would finish top with a win, second with a draw and third with a defeat, plunging into the second-tier Europa League.

Mourinho has derided the competition previously - won by his predecessor Rafael Benitez when interim boss in 2013 - but the winners now are awarded a place in the Champions League.

"I know what you mean," said Mourinho, who appeared to concede defeat in his side's bid for the Premier League top four, and with it a place in the Champions League, after the loss to Bournemouth.

"I know that in this moment it looks to win the Europa League is an easier way to be in the Champions League next season, than to finish in the top four.

"But there is another possibility, which is to win the Champions League.

"It's harder than winning the Europa League, obviously, yes. But this is a competition where we are."

Mourinho pointed to Chelsea's match statistics, saying "records" had been broken in three consecutive matches, but then pointed to the lack of goals.

It was a comment which could be interpreted as criticism of his strike force.

Diego Costa has seven goals since January and just four this season and has been a substitute for the last two games, with Eden Hazard deployed as a "false nine".

Loic Remy is a peripheral figure and Radamel Falcao is injured, having struggled to make an impact on loan.

"We run and we run and we work more than ever and at certain intensity that we never did before," Mourinho added.

"Our levels of ball possession are much higher than before too. Our chances are higher than ever.

"Our number of goals is lower than ever. You have the numbers, you read the numbers."

Captain John Terry is fit following an ankle injury, while midfielder Ramires is also available.

More to follow

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