Jose Mourinho’s future at Chelsea still cloudy with a chance of pitfalls

As the Premier League side’s season lurches from terrible to worse, the Portuguese is clinging onto his job as more challenges loom.

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Chelsea will continue to examine how to revive their stuttering campaign, with the future of manager Jose Mourinho again under scrutiny.

The West London club host Sunderland on Saturday just a point above the relegation zone in 16th place following defeat at Leicester City on Monday night, which was a ninth for thereigning Premier League champions.

Mourinho felt his “work was betrayed” by the players not following his directions on how to nullify Leicester’s attack, with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez both on target in the 2-1 victory at the King Power Stadium.

In October, Chelsea issued a statement of the club’s “full support” behind Mourinho, but they accepted “results have not been good enough and the team’s performances must improve”, but this campaign has developed into club’s worst start to a season since 1978, at the end of which they were relegated.

Owner Roman Abramovich continues to hold regular conversations with the board, chairman Bruce Buck, directors Marina Granovskaia and Eugene Tenenbaum as well as Chelsea’s technical director Michael Emenalo over the best course of action to arrest the team’s alarming slump in form.

There was, though, no emergency meeting scheduled for on Wednesday, when the club’s position was unchanged as Mourinho took training at Cobham.

Mourinho, who returned to take charge at Stamford Bridge in 2013, penned a new four-year deal in the summer.

Should Chelsea decide to make a change, then it is understood the terms of any severance package would be likely to follow previous models where the former manager would continue to be paid until he found another job or to the end of the contract period, which was an option taken up by Roberto di Matteo following his departure in November 2012.

The likes of Pep Guardiola, Diego Simeone and Antonio Conte have all been touted as potential successors, although an interim appointment would perhaps be more likely as a stop-gap until the end of the season, with options such as former managers Carlo Ancelotti and Guus Hiddink.

Should results go against Chelsea this weekend, then the West London club could end up in the bottom three for Christmas.

Midfielder Cesc Fabregas said Tuesdays there can be no excuses as Chelsea attempt to turn around their season.

“We all have to take responsibility. If you are a big player and you are paid like a big player, you must play like a big player and behave like a big player,” he said.

“I am not saying you can’t have a bad season and bad games. We all have: big players and small players. But the attitude has to always be spot on. We must always be at the top of our games, and the behaviour has to be better than what we are seeing right now from every single Chelsea player.”

Fabregas added: “We can bounce back, 100 per cent. There is enough time to achieve it, but we must start now. It is up to us.”

I just think I want to beat Sunderland, play my best and that’s it. Right now, no one is easy as it shows. We’ve put ourselves in this position so we have to now prove – we really, really, really have to now start winning,” he also said.

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