Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says he would only leave the Premier League champions if his squad lose trust in his ability to turn their fortunes around.
Following Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Southampton, the holders are winless in three matches and sit 16th in the table, although Mourinho suggested he was not concerned by potentially losing his job.
In a lengthy post-match interview, the Portuguese said the club would be sacking their best manager if he were to be relieved of his duties.
Reports have suggested strong words have been exchanged between Mourinho and members of the playing squad at Stamford Bridge in recent weeks but the Chelsea boss maintains his players still trust him.
“People can say what they want. I think you should go straight to the players,” he told reporters.
“Get a table at Cobham next week – John Terry doesn’t go to the national team, Diego Costa doesn’t go, Ramires doesn’t go. Ask them.
“If they tell you they don’t trust me, that is the only thing that can make me resign. The only thing. But not fake sources. The players at the table.
“I am not afraid. I’m not crying, I’m not desperate. It makes me realise how big I was, how big I am.
“When you win and you win titles and you are champion, life is easy. It’s easy to be proud. It’s easy to be what you are.
“In this moment it’s not so easy and my feelings – I’m so unhappy with the sport feeling of defeat but I am so happy with myself with the way I am facing this.”
With four league defeats already this season, Mourinho also urged Chelsea’s players to keep the faith – suggesting a slice of luck would serve the title hopefuls well.
“Only Mother Nature can do it. They need to feel luck, they need to arrive at half-time winning 2-0, 3-0,” he added.
“They need to fly without pressure, they need to play and feel that everything is going in their favour.
“Not to feel this pressure, this panic, this negativity. Decisions against, unlucky, mistakes. They need it. Time will bring it. I don’t know next match, in two matches, in three. For sure they will get that confidence back, for sure.”