Nigeria midfielder Mikel Obi has claimed that he and other Chelsea stars are in support of their under-fire manager Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese coach has endured a poor start to the defence of Chelsea’s Premier League title, with the Blues currently 15th, with 11 points from 11 games, after Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Liverpool.
There have been questions about some players’ commitment, and the presenter of BBC Radio 5 Live’s “Sportsweek” programme reported at the weekend that he had been told that one first-team Chelsea player had recently said: “I’d rather lose than win for him.”
But Mikel, who started both the Capital One Cup loss to Stoke and the Liverpool defeat, said the players retain full support for the former Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss.
“We are right behind the manager,” Mikel told reporters. “There’s no doubt about it. In training we work very hard. If anyone can turn this around, we definitely think he’s the one.
“Last year we were champions. We won two trophies. Jose knows this club more than any other manager. He’s the most successful manager in the club’s history.
“I definitely think that, if anything is wrong, if anything can be fixed, he is the one. There’s no one out there that is going to come in and fix what’s going on.
“If you tell the team that we are not giving 100 percent then there is the doubt, but we are giving 100 percent, we are playing for the manager, we are right behind him.
“He has come out a few times and said the players are not giving 100 percent and then you look at the next few games, the players come out and play better. He is doing everything that needs to be done.
“It’s just that right now things aren’t going well, so everyone [outside] wants him to go. I don’t think it’s the right way to go. I think that inside that dressing room we definitely believe he is the man to change things. He knows this club in and out.
“He knows what’s wrong and it’s just a matter of time before results start coming. We are playing well, we are working very hard in training. It’s just the results aren’t coming.”