Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has admitted for the first time this season that the top four may no longer be an achievable target for the defending Premier League champions.
Speaking in the aftermath of his side’s home loss to newly promoted side Bournemouth, Mourinho said, “Our objective is to finish top four. Before this game it was realistic to think that our quality would take us out of this position but maybe now we have to think about top six”.
in Jose Mourinho’s first 99 league games as Chelsea manager they suffered just one defeat at Stamford Bridge. They have lost four times in their last seven league games in this campaign. It is that loss of home form that is causing Chelsea such issues in the defence of their Premier League crown.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ was led to question his players’ consistency after the poor run of form that has seen them lose at home to Crystal Palace, Southampton, Liverpool and now Bournemouth so far this season. It has left Chelsea just three points off the relegation zone and a remarkable 17 points behind the league leaders Leicester City.
After Chelsea suffered their eighth defeat in fifteen games Mourinho said, “If our players are not able to give the maximum every day that is a problem. If you analyse match after match there are a few layers where it is difficult to be consistent. You think there is evolution, but maybe it is just one moment in which they are good”.
Mourinho once again felt that his side suffered at the hands of a referee when Diego Costa was denied a possible penalty. The Brazilian born Spanish international avoid a sliding tackle from Bournemouth captain Simon Francis, only to see the ball strike the Cherries’ defender’s arm. The Chelsea manager said, “We didn’t deserve to lose. Our opponent – in the period that they thought only of defence – managed to get a goal and there was a clear mistake from the referee. I think it is a clear handball and penalty with the score at 0-0”.
In a moment of what some might call ironic hypocrisy, the Portuguese manager also felt that Bournemouth defended deeply during the game. He said, “They played in a way that some call intelligent, some say is not fair play. They were taking time, calling for the medical department and drinking water like it is a basketball timeout”.
The fact that the referee didn’t give the penalty wasn’t the only thing that irked Mourinho, with the Chelsea manager also reacting to reports that Bournemouth’s goal had a hint of offside about it. He said, “If it was offside it is another episode that goes against us, but I did not see it”.
The only bit of good news emerging from the weekend is the fact that the Chelsea manager is confident that his team has enough quality to get out of their current situation. He said, “I am concerned of course. There is no chance that Chelsea will be fighting relegation”.