Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has hit out at the “very sad accusation” that a member of his squad stated they would rather lose than win for him.
The claims came via a reporter from the BBC, and rumours quickly circulated that Cesc Fabregas – dropped from Chelsea’s starting XI for the 3-1 to Liverpool on Saturday – was the star orchestrating a player revolt.
However, Fabregas vehemently denied those suggestions on Twitter on Tuesday, and Mourinho says his relationship with his players remains as strong as ever despite an awful start to the season.
“I think it is a very sad accusation because you are accusing a player, or more than one player I don’t know what you reported, you are accusing them of dishonesty,” he said ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League clash against Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday.
“If I accuse you to be a dishonest journalist I think you would be very, very upset and probably you would take legal action. So I think it is a question for the players and not for me.
“They have responded [well] to my methods. They give their best every minute of every training session, giving solidarity between all of us. I have a fantastic personal relationship [with the players], a very good professional relationship.
“In training they always play to the limits of quality and effort. Always there is a strong desire to win the match, which is what we will try to do [against Kiev].”
Premier League champions Chelsea have now lost six of their 11 league matches this term, while their defence of the League Cup was ended by Stoke City last week.
Chelsea have also taken just four points from their opening three Champions League Group G fixtures, but Mourinho insists he is not going anywhere and that he had predicted a bad period would come after winning Europe’s premier competition with Porto back in 2004.
“[I will be here for] four years, in this case three years and seven months something like that,” he added. “It [Chelsea’s poor form] is new for me, it’s why I’m a good coach, if I was a bad one it would come before.
“A friend sent me some quotes of mine after the Champions League final of May 2004. In May 2004, in the Champions League press conference I said that one day in my career bad results will come and I said that in 2004 after winning the Champions League final with Porto.”
Last week, Real Madrid full-back Alvaro Arbeloa – who played under Mourinho at the Santiago Bernabeu – stated that the Portuguese is like a bullet-proof vest for his players, and Mourinho has no intention of changing his ways.
“For my players I do everything, I always did. I’m not going to change. Yes [I will take more bullets],” he said.