Chelsea midfielder Ramires has banished talk of any player mutiny against Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, insisting that the squad is fully focused on helping the defending Premier League champions recover from their pitiful start to the 2015/16 campaign. Following a seventh defeat of the season in all competitions against West Ham on 24 October, the club now lie 15th in the table and already trail leaders Manchester City by 11 points, with 28 matches left to play.
Although Mourinho obviously understands that the responsibility for those repeated failures ultimately lies with him, his relationship with certain players is believed to have deteriorated as of late. Last week, the London Evening Standard claimed that the under-pressure boss was struggling to maintain control over an unhappy dressing room and that some had become uneasy with his public criticism of performances.
"There is no mutiny against Mourinho," Ramires confirmed to ESPN Brazil, as relayed by The Independent. "If you take our last games you will see how everyone is running relentlessly, putting their lives on the line on the pitch, as we say.
"Whenever we're under bad form, it's only natural that negative speculations will arise, but the whole group isn't paying attention to the outside and we're focused on doing what Mourinho asks us to do and, consequently, help Chelsea to get back on the winning track."
The strain that such a woeful run has placed upon Mourinho is becoming increasingly evident, with recent reports suggesting that his second departure from west London could be sealed if that 2-1 loss at Upton Park is followed by poor results in the Capital One Cup fourth round tie away to Stoke tonight and next weekend's top-flight clash against Liverpool.
Already contesting a £50,000 fine and a suspended one-match stadium ban following his comments about referees that followed the 3-1 beating by Southampton earlier this month, the 52-year-old has again been charged with misconduct by the Football Association (FA) after he was sent to the stands at half-time against West Ham.
Assistant coach Silvino Louro was likewise banished from the touchline and hit with the same charge for protesting against the dismissal of midfielder Nemanja Matic for two bookable offences, while Chelsea also incurred an automatic £25,000 punishment for receiving seven cards in total. Both clubs were charged with failing to control their players and Mourinho controversially declined to attend a mandatory post-match press conference.