Fabio Capello believes the long-term knee injury suffered by Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in September was the origin of the Blues' crisis as the rest of the team have since lost their confidence in defence. The former England manager, meanwhile, appears to play down recent reports claiming he could take charge of the side should if Jose Mourinho is sacked although he admits he would be open to a return to work if an interesting offer arrived.

The Sun claimed the 69-year-old manager had joined Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti as a possible short-term replacement to Mourinho if the Portuguese boss failed to improve the current situation in the forthcoming games against Dinamo Kiev on 4 November and Stoke City on 7 November.

But asked about that during an interview with Cadena Cope, Capello said: "No, no. It's a strange thing because they have the same team than last season.

"Just [Branislav] Ivanovic is missing right now but I think we have to look at the goalkeepers. Since Courtois [was] injured they have lost their security in defence and this has always been a very important thing at Chelsea. But's let see. I think you have to be careful with them because Chelsea now can only improve and still can be dangerous in the Champions League."

Nevertheless, asked whether he is likely to return to work after having being without a job since he left the Russian national team, he added: "I don't miss the bench right now but if an interesting offers arrives, why not?

On 1 November, Radio 5 Live presenter Garry Richardson claimed a Chelsea player was so upset with Mourinho that he would prefer to lose matches than win them under him. But Capello said: "I don't think so. I haven't seen that in any team. A player may not like his manager but I don't think any can go to that level."