Mourinho shrugs off thoughts defeat to Porto could end his Chelsea tenure

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has refused to contemplate defeat to Porto on Wednesday night and the possibility of being sacked.

Jose Mourinho

Source: Getty Images

The Blues play Mourinho's former club looking to put Premier League woes aside by reaching the Champions League knockout stages.

A draw would be enough to advance but, assuming Dynamo Kiev beat Maccabi Tel Aviv in the night's other Group G tie, a second loss in the competition to Porto could see Mourinho's second spell come to an end.

"There are no 'ifs'. Win, or draw, or lose. I am an optimistic guy. There are no 'ifs'," said Mourinho, when asked if it could be his final match in charge.

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Mourinho was subject to the first managerial vote of confidence of Roman Abramovich's 12-year ownership on October 5, but the Russian's patience is apparently being tested.

The defending Premier League champions are 14th after 15 games, eight of them defeats, including at home to newly-promoted Bournemouth last Saturday.

Mourinho issued a veiled barb at his misfiring strike force, notably Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, in insisting the Blues' predicament is not his sole responsibility.

Costa has seven goals since January - just four this season - and has been a substitute for the past two games, with Hazard deployed as a 'false nine'. Hazard is without a goal in his past 25 Chelsea games.

Mourinho used statistics to say "records" had been broken in three consecutive matches, despite saying such figures meant "very little" to him as recently as Friday.

"We run and we run and we work more than ever and at certain intensity that we never did before," added Mourinho, who says he is working individually with his strikers.

"Our levels of ball possession are much higher than before too. Our chances are higher than ever.

"Our number of goals is lower than ever. You have the numbers, you read the numbers, you get some conclusions.

"For me they mean something. It means it's everybody's responsibility."

The 52-year-old has been backed by Sir Alex Ferguson, who said Abramovich would be "foolish" to sack Mourinho. The former Manchester United boss also reckons Leicester could win the title.

Defeat there next Monday could see Chelsea fall into the Premier League relegation zone, yet Mourinho says Abramovich does not "change with the wind".

The Portuguese insisted one man can not be held accountable for Chelsea's problems.

"This is not a one-man responsibility," said Mourinho, who is under contract until June 2019.

"I don't think the owner is a person to change with the wind. Results in the Premier League are really bad, but I think the owner knows who I am, what I gave to the club and the owner believes I am the right person to do the job."

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, fit again following a three-month absence with a knee injury, says as many as eight players have been underperforming in each Chelsea game this season.

"You have moments when your level is high, other times a bit lower," Courtois said.

"Sometimes you have eight players on a top level and three a bit down. Maybe this season it's the other way round.

"Last season we were on a higher level and that's why we were champions. We're still the same players as last season, the top players who belong to Chelsea, a big team who aspire to win trophies.

"If everybody gets on their top level, we'll start winning again."


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4 min read
Published 9 December 2015 at 3:32pm
By Matt McGeehan
Source: PA Sport