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Mourinho: ‘Chelsea stars are playing for me, they tried everything’ against Stoke

first_imgUnder-pressure Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has refuted recent claims his players are not behind him, after his side suffered shock League Cup exit at the hands of Stoke City.The Blues’s disastrous start to the season took a turn for the worst on Tuesday night as the cup holders were dumped out at the fourth round with a 5-4 penalty defeat at the Britannia Stadium, following a 1-1 draw after extra-time.Reports this week have suggested the Portuguese coach has lost the faith of his team and the club’s top stars are bracing themselves for his departure as boss.But Mourinho hit back at the rumours and was keen to praise his players’ efforts following the full-time whistle.He said in his post-match press conference: “Honestly, do you think they are not with me? That they didn’t give everything to win the game?“That is really sad – not sad for me but sad for the players, and I think it is a lack of respect to the players, not to me.“For me it would be a fantastic situation if the players are against me – I could say we don’t have results because the players are against me.“I think what some people write and say is really bad for the players. They tried everything.”Talk had already been rife before this tie about the sack looming for Mourinho, whose Premier League champions were left 15th in the table by Saturday’s 2-1 loss at West Ham, in which he was sent to the stands and then refused to speak to media.But the Portuguese – who has subsequently been hit by another charge misconduct charge from the Football Association over events at Upton Park, and had not spoken publicly since that match – said following the Stoke contest: “My general situation is fantastic.“I have a day off tomorrow, a fantastic family. I can sleep well every night. I’m going to enjoy my day and Thursday. It will be one more day like I have had in the last 15 years of my life – honest and dedicated.”Asked if he had had any more reassurances since the weekend about his job, Mourinho said: “I don’t need more.”Chelsea’s exit was sealed when Eden Hazard’s penalty, the last of the shoot-out, was saved by Jack Butland.Mourinho refused to blame Hazard and said there was plenty in Chelsea’s performance that meant their players would leave feeling positive.He said: “He [Hazard] is our best penalty taker but the last thing I do is to blame. If I have to blame someone it is the ones who tell the manager I don’t want to take it and run away.“It is more difficult when you play very bad and lose than when you play well and lose. I think they [Chelsea’s players] go with sadness but with a positive feeling.“How can they go home with lack of confidence? Lack of confidence, why? They played well.” 1 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho last_img read more