LONDON: Jose Mourinho dismissed claims of unrest in the Chelsea dressing room on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) as captain John Terry and Cesc Fabregas spoke out in support of their manager.
The Portuguese is under growing pressure after a disastrous run of results and suggestions that there is a player revolt at the club.
But, speaking ahead of Wednesday’s crucial Champions League game at Stamford Bridge against Ukrainian visitors Dynamo Kiev, Mourinho said his relationship with his players remained “fantastic”.
“They are giving their best every minute of every training session. Giving solidarity in between all of us. Fantastic personal relationship. Very good professional relationship,” he said at a pre-match press conference.
“They are training always in the limits of the quality and the effort. And always with the strong desire to win the next match, which is what we’re going to try and do tomorrow (Thursday).”
He added: “I know (why results have been poor). No (I can’t tell you) because I’ll be here a long time. It’s a combination of factors. Some of them I can’t, I don’t even want to touch them. And yes I know.”
Support from Fabregas, Terry
Mourinho’s comments came after Fabregas denied reports he was the leader of a dressing-room rebellion and expressed his support for the manager.
Fabregas wrote on Twitter: “I would like to clarify that contrary to a few reports from some online websites, I am extremely happy at Chelsea and have an excellent relationship with the manager.
“There may be certain individuals from the outside trying to destabilise this club, but I strongly believe that we will bounce back and come good again.”
Chelsea have lost nine of 17 matches in all competitions this season and currently sit 15th in the Premier League after losing 3-1 at home to Liverpool at the weekend.
They come into Wednesday’s game in a delicate position in Champions League Group G, sitting third, a point behind Dynamo, with whom they drew in Ukraine two weeks ago.
However, Terry said the responsibility for ending the club’s dismal start to the season lies solely with the players as he also rubbished claims some members of the squad were no longer willing to fight for Mourinho.
“We’ve not played well enough, and we take that on the shoulders. We know where we are in the league and the Champions League group, and we know what we need to do to get out of it. That relies on us, as players, not the manager,” said the veteran centre-back.
“It’s going to take a dressing room that stays together, sticks together. What we’ve seen in the last two or three days, ridiculous stories about what’s happening within the club and the dressing room.
“I can assure you the players are 100 percent behind the manager. We are together. Anyone who has been at the last three or four games can see the way we’re playing is turning.
“Together is the most important thing: that we stay together in that dressing room.”
Referring to reports that a player said he would rather lose a game, Terry added: “Listen, in my whole football career I’ve never heard a player come out with those words.
“In my whole career. Whether it’s been going bad or really bad. It’s ridiculous I have to sit here and talk about it.
“I’ve seen players’ faces with the disappointment after results, the feeling we’ve let the club and the manager and the fans down.
“The player wouldn’t be let out of the dressing room, let’s be honest. It wouldn’t go down too well, would it?”
Terry also affirmed his belief that Mourinho will not be leaving Chelsea any time soon, despite owner Roman Abramovich’s history of dispensing with managers as soon as things start to go wrong.
“It’s not going to come to that. The club have shown faith in the best manager with the best history at this club,” Terry said.
“I’m sure, and I’m adamant, that we’ll turn this around and he’ll be in charge for the rest of the season and long after I’ve finished playing for this club. He is the man to take this club forward to where we want to be.”