A defiant Jose Mourinho has vowed not to quit Chelsea – and challenged owner Roman Abramovich to keep him at the club.
Southampton’s 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge left the Blues 16th, 10 points behind leaders Manchester City, with Manchester United having the chance to move 11 points ahead on Sunday.
But Mourinho insisted he remained the best person to revive Chelsea’s fortunes and said he had the backing of the players after a meeting this week.
He also urged Abramovich to stick to the promise the Portuguese claimed he made, to end the culture of removing the manager when things got tough.
Mourinho said: “No way I resign – no way. Why? Because Chelsea cannot have a better manager than me.
“There are many managers in the world who belong to my level but not better. So no chance I run away.
“I want the best for my club and the best for my club is for me to stay.
“Do the players trust me and do they feel I am the man for the job? This week we spoke about it and the answer was undoubtedly.
“You know the history of this club. Every time the results are not good, there was a change of manager.
“But when I was contacted to come back, I was told ‘we had so many managers, we know you are the best’. So I think it’s time for the club to act in a different way, to have a position of stability, of trust.”
Mourinho also appeared to concede the title after his side slipped to 16th in the league and the gap to the leaders increased to double-digits.
He added: “To be champion it is very difficult – [it is] 10 points to Man City, maybe tomorrow 11 points to Manchester United. But I think top four is completely doable.”