The future of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho remained clouded in doubt on Sunday following the Premier League champions’ latest setback against Liverpool.
Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat on Saturday, their sixth in 11 league games, left them four points above the relegation zone and prompted more lurid newspaper headlines about the possible fate awaiting Mourinho.
Citing sources in Portugal, The Sunday Mirror said that Mourinho was “on the brink” and could be sacked before Wednesday’s Champions League home game against Dynamo Kiev, while The Sun on Sunday claimed that he has been given two games to save his job.
The Independent on Sunday, meanwhile, reported that he will be given until the end of November to get Chelsea back on track.
Mourinho was defiant after Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge, dismissing suggestions that he had presided over his last match as manager and saying that he expected to be given more time by owner Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea gave Mourinho a public vote of confidence last month, but the team have won just one of their five matches since and saw their defence of the League Cup ended by Stoke City.
Nevertheless, Mourinho appears to retain the support of the club’s supporters, who chanted his name throughout the defeat against Liverpool, which was the club’s third home loss of the campaign.
“The fans aren’t stupid,” said Mourinho, who returned to Chelsea for a second spell in charge in 2013 and last season led the club to a league and League Cup double.
“They know how much myself and the players are trying.”
Avram Grant, who succeeded Mourinho after he was sacked by Chelsea in September 2007, only to be himself dismissed eight months later, believes the end is not yet nigh for the Portuguese.
“Normally Roman gives the manager space,” Grant told BBC Radio 5.
“He’s not day-by-day wanting to know what’s happening. He’s not a guy who will pick up the phone every five minutes and ask what you are doing.
“Even when the situation is not so good, he will want to show everything is calm.”
Mourinho was expected to take training as scheduled on Sunday, having told reporters after the Liverpool game that he would soon begin preparations for Wednesday’s match with Dynamo.
Chelsea’s Brazilian playmaker Oscar said that the only way to turn the situation around was to string a run of wins together.
“We need to win — doesn’t matter if it’s Champions League or Premier League,” he told Chelsea TV.
“We need to start winning games, because we played well against West Ham, played well against Stoke, played well today (Saturday), but we don’t win. We need to win the games.”
Photo Credits : AFP