CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho has rejected suggestions that he lacks staying power as he attempts to turn around his club’s worst start to a season since 1988 tonight against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
The Blues host the Israeli title winners in their opening Champions League group fixture still seeking a first win at Stamford Bridge of what has been a dismal campaign.
A run of three defeats in four games has left Chelsea 11 points behind Premier League pace-setters Manchester City and Mourinho facing questions about his future just four months after hoisting the trophy.
The Portuguese has never spent more than three full seasons in a job but insists his side’s woeful sequence of results is not the manifestation of another third-season itch.
“Look, in Porto [where he spent two and a half years], I didn’t have a third season,” Mourinho said.
“My third season in Inter [where he spent two years], I didn’t have a third season. My third season at Chelsea the first time, I won the FA Cup and the Carling Cup, and I played the Champions League semi-finals.
“My third season in Real Madrid, I won the Super Cup, I lost the cup final, and I went to the Champions League semi-finals. These are my third seasons. So click Google, instead of making stupid questions.
“We start so bad. It’s not because of that that somebody can steal what we are. Nobody can steal what we are, nobody can steal our trophies, nobody can steal our history. We know what we are: champions of England.”
Mourinho has indicated he will ring the changes against Maccabi Tel Aviv, with Brazil midfielder Oscar in contention to return, but warned that supporters and media should not read too much into them.
“If I make a couple of changes in my team, instead of saying ‘he’s looking for a new dynamic’, I know what you are going to say,” he said. “If I leave out John Terry, it’s because I have a problem with John Terry. I cannot be worried about what you say. Yes, I’m going to make a couple of changes because I have to try a couple of different faces.”
Mourinho added that his team was prepared should Maccabi attempt to stifle Chelsea with a five-man defence, as their coach Slavisa Jokanovic did when Watford boss in an FA Cup match last season.