Jose Mourinho admits he has been somewhat “embarrassed” by the support afforded to him during Chelsea’s struggles this season.
The Blues have made a shambolic defence of the Premier League title, losing eight of the 15 league games they have played this season – with last Saturday’s embarrassing 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth leaving them just two points clear of the relegation zone.
Despite speculation his job could be on the line, the Portuguese seems secure in his position, mainly thanks to the continued faith shown in him by the club’s fans despite the team spending the entire season in the bottom half of the table.
Certainly it has made the club’s home ground a lot less intimidating than it might be for the manager and his players.
“Sometimes I feel a bit embarrassed to be fair, their support is more than I could expect after such a bad season,” Mourinho said in a press conference to preview Monday’s game against Leicester. “I know that last season we were champions but this season has been really bad.
“But we like to play at Stamford Bridge – the fans are being unbelievable. I even feel a little bit unsure how to react when they sing my name and I feel a bit embarrassed because I do not know how to react.
“When you are the champion you wave and share the emotion. I know for sure the Chelsea fans don’t need to be reminded of the memories, that is for sure.
“They don’t need that special vitamin to improve memories, because if not they would not sing the Special One to me, or to treat the players the way they do. For sure we want to play at Stamford Bridge and that is not a problem for us.”
Mourinho added: “Independent of the Bournemouth defeat, I think in the last couple of months everyone is improving, the team is improving.
“We are going in a good direction in terms of the level of individuals and the team consistency. We need results.
“Before we lost the last three points against Bournemouth I was absolutely convinced of the fourth position in the table.
“I was convinced of a great December for us. I was miles away from believing we could lose this match.
“Who knows? We could get a run of four or five consecutive victories and because nobody is doing that from the top clubs, maybe we have a chance to shorten distances and to dream of a great finish and to finish fourth.
“While mathematically it’s possible we have to try.”