Jose Mourinho has branded reports suggesting there is a player mutiny at Chelsea as "sad and disappointing", insisting he is backed by the squad at Stamford Bridge.
Speculation suggested the Portuguese manager had made several senior players unhappy due to his controversial public criticism of his side's performances and backroom staff, with the Premier League champions some 10 points behind leaders Manchester City after eight games.
Mourinho rejected claims the players do not support him and pointed to the string of positive statements that key squad members have given since their 3-1 home defeat to Southampton prior to the international break.
"It is sad," the 52-year-old told talkSPORT when asked about the report. "I spoke with the players about it and the players are also sad about it, but there is no way to care.
"We know what we are, we know the relationships between ourselves. We know that we are trying to go back to normality together, but it is quite sad because people could analyse the situation in pure football terms. I am a bit disappointed.
"Let's try to find the reason why this team is playing badly and why it is not winning matches, without agendas and without unfair comment, because that's not nice.
"I would never expect people to write beautiful things about us, I don't want that. But in the last three or four days, Asmir Begovic said 'we had the best manager in the world'. Kurt Zouma the same. John Terry said 'we have the manager we want; the one who can help us to revive this situation'.
"Diego Costa said 'if you ask every player in the world, they will all answer the same, that they'd like to work with three managers and one of them is this one'.
"Who else? Cesc Fabregas; the same. Ramires; the same. [Ruben] Loftus-Cheek; the same. [Gary] Cahill; the same. Eden Hazard, very similar."
Mourinho acknowledges recent results are unacceptable, with Chelsea down in 16th place in the Premier League after winning just two of their first eight games since winning the title last season, but expects their form to improve.
He continued: "The results are negative, there is no way to hide it. I have never lost four matches in eight, I never had such a bad start to the season.
"I am not the kind of person to try and find words when the easiest word to say is that the results are bad.
"We are obviously not afraid to be close to the relegation zone, that is completely out of the question. We know that by December and January we will be closer to the top than to the bottom of the table, we know that for sure."
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