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Published: 16:22 | 21/12/15

Chelsea: Players not to blame

Jose Mourinho was sacked to 'protect the interests of the club', technical director Michael Emenalo has said.

Mourinho left Chelsea on Thursday after a run of nine defeats in 16 Premier League games and with the club just one point above the relegation zone.

For several weeks there had been rumours that Mourinho had lost the dressing room with the manager accusing his players of betraying his work on the pitch in the wake of Monday's 2-1 defeat to Leicester.

Emenalo spoke to ChelseaTV on Thursday evening to explain the board's decision to part ways with the manager, admitting 'palpable discord' had developed between Mourinho and his players, although refused to blame the squad for his exit.

"That contract clearly signifies that what happened today was not a premeditated decision," Emenalo told Chelsea TV. "It was a decision taken to protect the interests of the club. Whilst there is huge sentiment for the individual who has done so much for the club, the fact of the matter remains that Chelsea Football Club is in trouble.

"The results are not good. There obviously seems to be a palpable discord between manager and players and we felt it was time to act.

"The owner has been forced to make what was a very tough decision for the good of the club. Make no mistake about it: Chelsea Football Club, one of the biggest in the world, is one point above relegation in the English Premier League. That's not good enough.

"Anybody or any fan or even those who have any affiliation to the club can understand that this club is in trouble, and something needed to be done."

He went on: "This is essentially the same group of players who won the league and the League Cup last season. They did it in style, by showing commitment and by sweating blood.

"They played to instruction, they adhered to everything the manager asked them to do.

"They [the players] have a responsibility to go out and prove everybody wrong and show a certain level of commitment to the decision that has been made tonight to try to get the club up the league [table]. That’s what they need to do."

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