Jose Mourinho has reiterated his desire to remain at Chelsea for the long-haul, whilst admitting maybe he was wrong to criticise their fans at the weekend.
After leading the Blues to two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, the Portuguese coach made an emotional return to the capital club last summer. His omission that his side weren’t at the time capable of challenging for silverware proved correct, it is a different story this time with a likely assault on all fronts.
Indeed, Chelsea remain unbeaten this season in all competitions, and currently hold a four-point lead over second-place Southampton in the race for the title. Mourinho, though, caused controversy on Saturday following the narrow home win over Queens Park Rangers, by accusing the fans of his own club of being too quiet and failing to create an atmosphere inside the ground.
Speaking ahead of the UEFA Champions League clash in Maribor on Wednesday evening, the former Porto, Internazionale and Real Madrid coach now accepts perhaps his criticism was a little harsh. At the same time he has suggested his love for the club was the reason for his outburst, and has reiterated his desire to remain at Stamford Bridge for the long-haul.
“Maybe I did go a little bit too far,” reflected the 51-year-old. “But I see myself in the stands watching Chelsea and I want to play the game, I want to help. If I’m not a player, I cannot play. If I’m not a coach, I cannot make decisions. If I’m just a fan, what can I do to help? That’s just my view. This is not, for me, just a job. It is more than that, because it’s Chelsea Football Club.
“Everybody at Chelsea Football Club knows how much I love the club, how much I want it to improve, and how much I want to be part of the club in the future. Even a moment of criticism has to be analysed with different eyes, with the eyes of somebody who knows why I came back to Chelsea and why I’m here with my heart, and why I want to stay for a long, long time.”
Chelsea have seven points from their first three matches in the Champions League, and last time out beat Maribor 6-0 in London. Another win over the Slovenian champions would virtually guarantee their passage to the last-16, from a pool which also contains German side Schalke, and Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon who provide Mourinho’s final opposition in the group.