Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo has said that the club’s owner Roman Abramovich fully backs under-pressure manager Jose Mourinho.
Despite the defending champions’ dreadful start to the Premier League season, Emenalo says the decision to retain confidence in the 52-year-old Portuguese coach has been taken at the very top of Chelsea’s hierarchy, who can see ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
The former Nigeria international, who is regarded as having a close link with Abramovich, spoke on behalf of the club in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, his first since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2007.
“When it comes to decisions, we feel confident we have an owner who has a very good track record, who is astute at making decisions of this kind at the right time to get us to where we want to be,” Emenalo said.
“We have never put ourselves in a position where we second-guess him. Part of the reasons he can make those decisions and be successful is because he has the information that a lot of people don’t.
“He has the whole picture of what is happening at the club, not just from certain individuals but every sector of the club. When he needs to make a decision he can make it.”
Following the home defeat to Southampton last month, Chelsea released a statement declaring that Mourinho was ‘the right manager’ and could count on its ‘full support’.
The club’s form has failed to improve in the weeks since, losing three and winning just one of their subsequent four league games. Emenalo, however, insisted that the club’s support has not wavered.
“Right now, the statement from the owner and from the board comes from a belief that we are in a position to trust a manager who has delivered so much.”
“We are in a position to trust a group of players who have delivered in the last couple of seasons. We are in a position to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and therein lies our confidence ... that we can get out of the situation.”
Emenalo also addressed Mourinho’s disciplinary record this season, which has seen the Chelsea manager accumulate six fines from the Football Association totalling over £140,000.
The former Real Madrid and Inter Milan coach’s behaviour and comments have also led to two stadium bans – one of which he served during the club’s last match, an away defeat to Stoke City.
The clubs’ technical director, however, sympathised with Mourinho and claimed that Chelsea officials intend to do more to relieve the pressure on their manager.
“As one of the big football clubs in the world, we understand that we have a responsibility to greater society and the football world,” Emenalo says.
“We all know that football is an emotion-inducing sport and business and... every once in a while passions spill over. But again we understand the manager has shouldered an unfair responsibility in dealing with it.
“Rather than focus on whether he has done wrong, or not done wrong, we have a recognition that we have to make a contribution and help him.”
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