After a dreadful start to the season, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has admitted he cannot guarantee the club Champions League football next term.
A League Cup defeat to Stoke City midweek has only increased the pressure on the former Real Madrid man, with Chelsea rooted in the bottom half of the table.
And with another tough clash against Liverpool, on the horizon, Mourinho admitted that a top-four finish could be out of reach.
“I cannot promise it,” he told reporters during a tetchy press conference on Friday.
Asked whether Jurgen Klopp’s definition of himself raised a laugh, Mourinho was similarly blunt: “Why should I laugh?”
“Last season Liverpool won nothing and didn’t qualify for Champions League and they are still a big club and two years ago Manchester United didn’t even qualify for the Champions League, or Europa League and they are still a monster club.
“In my career every game is a must-win.
“I don’t win always but every game is a must-win.”
Another reporter’s attempt to find out if Mourinho had been in contact with owner Roman Abramovich received similarly short shrift.
“I don’t have to tell you,” the manager fired, while a question on dismissed club doctor Eva Carneiro was intercepted by a Chelsea spokesman.