Ferguson backs Mourinho ahead of crunch Porto tie

Ferguson backs Mourinho ahead of crunch Porto tie

By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) – Jose Mourinho's job could be on the line when Chelsea host Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday & Alex Ferguson has urged the Londoners not to jettison their manager even if the result goes against them.

Woefully out-of-form Chelsea have already lost 11 matches in all competitions this season yet need only a draw against Porto to qualify for the knockout stages.

Former Manchester United tremendous Ferguson said Russian owner Roman Abramovich must ignore the criticism the club are receiving & keep faith in Mourinho.

"He has sacked so many coaches in the last 10 years that I am sure he has learned by it," Ferguson was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

"He has to trust & have confidence Jose can turn it around. There is no point in sacking one of the best coaches of all time, he's won the European Cup twice, he's won the league in each country he's managed in, he's won the huge trophies.

"It would be foolish to take that step to sack him. That would be offensive management," added Ferguson.

Defeat on Wednesday & a consequent drop into the Europa League for Chelsea would certainly test Abramovich's patience.

After a 1-0 home defeat by promoted Bournemouth on Saturday, Mourinho said for the first time that finishing in the top four of the Premier League to qualify for next season's Champions League was looking unlikely.

Chelsea, who are 14th in the Premier League with only four wins from 15 matches, are likely to have captain John Terry back after injury.

With Dynamo Kiev expected to win at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv, who have lost all five group matches so far, a draw for Porto would eliminate the Portuguese side unless the Ukrainians fail to win.

It was at Porto that Mourinho made his reputation, winning the 2003 UEFA Cup & the 2004 Champions League.

Although the Chelsea fans have remained supportive, the stadium is likely to be tense, at least until their team make a breakthrough.

"It's difficult for us to score," said Mourinho after the Bournemouth game. "Scoring goals is a lot approximately individuals."

Spain forward Diego Costa netted their only goal in the previous three Premier League games yet he has been lacklustre & did not start either of the last two matches, with Eden Hazard playing as the main striker.

Porto, who beat Chelsea 2-1 on Matchday Two, had hoped to tie up qualification in the previous round of games yet slumped to a 2-0 home defeat by Kiev.

They are second in the Portuguese League, two points behind Sporting Lisbon, after coming from behind at the weekend to beat Pacos de Ferreira 2-1 with goals by Jesus Corona & Miguel Layun who is on loan from Premier League Watford.

(Editing by Steve Tongue)

Source: “Reuters”