Jose Mourinho has not given up on Chelsea finishing in the Premier League top four and qualifying for next season’s Champions League despite the club’s struggles.
When asked on Friday if Chelsea, currently 14th, could finish as high as fourth during his press conference ahead of Monday’s visit to leaders Leicester, the Blues manager said: “Before we lost the last three points against Bournemouth, I was convinced of fourth, of a great December for us. I have to be honest and say the last defeat was something that I was far away from believing was possible.
“The reality is that some clubs are doing so well, and some are not capable of doing what people are used to. It’s not possible for clubs to win three, fpur, five, 10 matches in a row now.
“Maybe we have a chance to dream with a great finish and finish fourth. While it is mathetmaticall possibly, we have to try.”
Mourinho then admitted that Leicester are good value for their top ppsition.
“They deserve to be where they are,” he added.
“I said a few weeks ago that I did not believe that they could be champions, maybe I need to reconsider. It would be something magnificent, something to impress the football world.
“They are there because they are doing well. We are where we are because we are under-performing. It is the same players and coach that we had last year.”
Mourinho added, regarding Chelsea’s form in the league: “I think that the bad results are not normal, but the chance for every manager to do his work is and finish what he started is. What is not normal is what is happening now.
“I imagine myself finishing my contract with Chelsea. I have three and half years on my contract. After that I imagine myself coaching – not every club, there are some clubs I will never manage – but every club in the world.
“I don’t know if it is eight, seven, five or six players who are underperforming. We were miles away from our level at the start of the season and when you are waiting for some top performances from individuals it makes a difference.
“Overall over the last month I think we are improving – against Tottenham and Porto – it is not just little moments.”
When asked about the contrasting fortunes of Leicester and Chelsea this season, Mourinho shot back:
“It’s incredible, but do you want to speak about how bad we are doing, or how well they are doing? I think they deserve us to speak about how good they are doing.
“If you want a stupid answer, I can give you a stupid answer. A stupid answer is easy to give. I think just an answer they deserve is to speak about how well they are doing. I would love to be in their position, obviously, but the reality is I am pleased where they are.
“One year ago they were bottom of the league, Ranieri was sacked from Greece after losing to the Faroe Islands, now he’s the top manager in the Premier League, and the players are in the top of the league – this is fantastic.”