Chelsea fullback Branislav Ivanovic says he empathises with the club’s fans after sections of the Stamford Bridge crowd voiced their displeasure at the recent performances of some players.
Jose Mourinho was relieved of his duties as manager on Thursday with the defending Premier League champions languishing just a point above the relegation zone, although some supporters maintain the players should shoulder more of the blame.
The names of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa were booed as they were read out prior to a 3-1 victory over Sunderland on Saturday and the duo were subjected to further heckling when they were substituted during the second half.
“I can understand the frustration of the fans. This is normal,” Ivanovic, who opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge, told Sky Sports.
“I think we all know what Jose Mourinho means for this club and nobody can change or speak about that.
“For us it was a very emotional day, but I think we have the support of everyone in the club.
“This club is not deserving to be in the position where we are now, but the only way to change this is we have to win the games, we have to get the points and to go out of this situation very strong.
“This club is all of us and this club cannot be in the position where we are now.
“I think we all deserve to be criticised and we all have responsibility.
“In football, it’s all about the players and how they are on the pitch. Another thing is the relationship between the manager and players, but the players put Chelsea in this position and the only [people who can] change this position are the players.
“I think we have to work very, very hard to put this club back to the position where it deserves to be.”
Guus Hiddink, who previously served as caretaker in 2009, was appointed earlier on Saturday to lead Chelsea until the end of the season.