José Mourinho has admitted feeling humiliated by the warmth of the support he continues to receive from Chelseas fans but is optimistic they will have soon something to cheer even more enthusiastically
Jos Mourinho has admitted being embarrassed by the warmth of the support he continues to receive from Chelseas fans but is optimistic they will soon have something to cheer even more enthusiastically.
Mourinho takes his underperforming reigning champions to the home of the unexpected Premier League leaders on Monday, with Chelsea languishing 13 places and 17 points behind Leicester City. After Wednesdays 2-0 victory over Porto secured a place in the last 16 of the Champions League, however, the Portuguese paid tribute to Chelseas supporters for standing by him.
The fans are being absolutely unbelievable with us, he said. I even feel a little bit not knowing how to react when the people are so nice and they sing my name, you know: Stand up for the Special One. I feel embarrassed because I dont know how to react. When you are champions, winning matches, you wave, you share the emotion with the people.
One thing is for sure: Chelsea fans, they dont have memory problems. Chelsea fans, they dont need that special vitamin to feed memory because their memory is amazing because if not, they dont treat me the way they do.
In the week that Garry Monk lost his job at Swansea City after a run of one win in 11 league games and despite his achievement in taking the club to eighth last season, Mourinho whose own future has been questioned after his sides dismal start to the league season reflected on the insecurity felt by managers.
I feel very sorry for him, he said of Monk. Obviously, I feel he did work that impressed last season and the beginning of this season. He was doing so well and showing some great qualities as a manager. It was a surprise but it is the reality at the moment in football. To be sacked, you only need to have a job.
One manager who has received very little criticism this season is Claudio Ranieri, whose departure from Chelsea opened the way for Mourinhos arrival in England in 2004 and is now impressing at Leicester. I think he should be made manager of the half-term, if that existed in football. If you could give an award for the first six months of competition, everybody is miles away from him. And every club is miles away from what Leicester is doing, Mourinho said. I know the distance between them and Manchester United, City, Arsenal is two, three, four points but they are the ones that deserve all this respect and all these compliments. Fantastic work.
Mourinho takes his team to the King Power Stadium with no fresh injuries to report and the belief that, despite last weeks humbling home defeat by Bournemouth, the green shoots of recovery are evident.
This is the end of a bad period but we still have always some negative results that bring us back to a position we are not very proud with, he said. I think the performance against Porto on Wednesday, in a high-level pressure match, I think the answer was so good that I dont see any reason not to have the same kind of answer [on Monday]. In the beginning of the season we were miles away from our level but I think in the last couple of months everyone is improving, the team is improving. We had good performances against Porto and against Tottenham. I think we are going in a good direction in terms of the performance of individuals and team consistency but, obviously, we need results.
What we are now having regularly is lots of clean sheets, very few goals conceded. We have defensive stability now. We need to score more goals. You could tell me Diego Costa and Hazard, they are not scoring goals but the way they played against Porto, they have to score goals. They have to. Sooner or later the goals are coming.