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October 31, 2015

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Mourinho stays mum on job prospects

CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho declined to say yesterday whether he had been given any guarantees about his future if the champion loses at home to Liverpool this weekend.

Media reports have speculated that the Portuguese could be dismissed by club owner Roman Abramovich for the second time if Chelsea suffers a sixth defeat in the opening 11 Premier League games. He was sacked early on in the 2007-08 season before returning in June 2013.

Chelsea, champion last season, was eliminated from the League Cup on penalties by Stoke City in midweek and has now won only one of the last seven games in all competitions.

In addition, Mourinho has been in trouble again with the football authorities. He was due to hear the result later yesterday of his appeal against a 50,000-pound (US$76,680.00) fine and suspended stadium ban for comments about the referee after losing to Southampton earlier this month.

And last Saturday he was sent to the stands after allegedly insulting the referee during Chelsea’s 1-2 loss to West Ham United.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of the Liverpool game, Mourinho said he was “not optimistic, not pessimistic,” about the outcome of the appeal.

Asked about any discussions on his future with the owner, he refused to comment. He did admit, however, that he cannot guarantee finishing in the top four to qualify for next season’s Champions League, which some observers believe to be a minimum requirement to keep his job.

“I cannot promise,” he said, pointing out that clubs as big as Manchester United and Liverpool had both failed in recent seasons to make the top four, and even finished outside the top six.

The champion goes into the Liverpool game in the bottom six, although it is only three points behind Juergen Klopp’s team. “A guy I like a lot,” he said of Klopp. “His work speaks (for itself) and I consider him one of the top managers in Europe.”


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