Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has paid tribute to the clubs supporters for ignoring a media campaign to have him sacked. The Portuguese boss was subject to supportive chants from all corners of Stamford Bridge during the 2-1 Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev which ended a four-match winless run in all competitions.
Willian struck an 83rd minute free-kick to give the Blues victory and put them on course for the last 16 with two group games remaining. The west London side are 15th in the Premier League after six defeats in their 11 league games but their European prospects have been significantly improved.
Since defeat to Liverpool left Chelsea 14 points behind co-league leaders Manchester City and Arsenal, speculation has intensified over the future of Mourinho, who reportedly had two games to save his job. After Willians late goal gave him a much-needed boost, the 52-year-old has praised the clubs unbelievable support, which comes amid a tough period for the English champions.
The moment I come back to the club and we play the first match against Hull City, the way the stadium welcomed me was amazing, said Mourinho, who looked visibly emotional at full-time. But not comparable with today. Today comes in a moment when the results are not good and comes in a moment where you [the media] are asking for my end [sacking].
The fans they read newspapers, they watch TV, they listen to commentators, they read blogs and it is quite unbelievable what they tried to say today.
Today they tried to say that they want me here. It was a fantastic feeling. The players they showed once more they want to win and today they did it. They showed again they want to win and the fans they showed again passion for the club.
Fundamentally that is what they show. Then to support the club manager it is a way of showing respect and it is amazing really.
The Chelsea boss added: I think it is an amazing feeling for the club to feel that the fans are in a good moment. You see the street and it is full of people celebrating with a buzz.
It is easy for kids to go to school with a Chelsea shirt. It is not easy for kids, 10-12 years old, to go to school with a Chelsea shirt with them losing matches and probably they are bullied by other kids. They are happy.
I always remember I was impressed when I was first in England at Liverpool. We won at Anfield and in the last 10 minutes and they are singing for them until the last minute.
For Chelsea, I think this is my moment because it was amazing. The club has to be very proud of their fans.
I dont have another way of thanking them than giving everything I have which I will do always. I have to thank them for this reaction. To win after conceding a goal with 10-15 minutes to go I repeat is important.