Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho reacted to questions regarding his future by insisting that if the club sack him, they will be sacking the greatest manager the club has ever had.
The reigning champions slumped to their fourth Premier League defeat of the season on Saturday, going down 3-1 to Southampton at Stamford Bridge despite taking the lead through Willian.
The defeat follows on from Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Porto in the Champions League and leaves the Blues in 16th place in the Premier League table, a distant 10 points behind leaders Manchester City.
“If the club wants to sack me they have to sack me because I am not running away from my responsibility, my team,” he told Sky Sports after the game.
“To be champions now is obviously very, very difficult because the distance is considerable. I am more than convinced that we will finish top four.
“It is a crucial moment in the history of this club because if they sack me they sack the best manager this club has ever had.
“The message is that the results are the fault of the manager. This is a moment for everybody to assume their responsibilities and stick together.”
Mourinho also insisted the Blues were being harshly treated by referees and insisted they were denied a penalty against Southampton, which could have changed the outcome of the game.
“The referees are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea,” he added. “At 1-1, it is a huge penalty and once again we don’t get.
“If the FA wants to punish me they can. They don’t punish other managers. My players deserve it and the fans deserve it.
“Referees are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea. Why? Because there is always a question mark and we are always punished.
“Clear penalties are not given. Even in the Champions League in a match we lose 2-1, we are not given a penalty in the last minute.
“The penalty in this game is crucial because my team, at the moment, the first negative thing that happens, they collapse. The penalty was a giant penalty and after that the team lost even more confidence.”