By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes

Jose Mourinho told a BBC journalist that there were a “couple of bad apples” in the Chelsea team before he was sacked as manager.

Mourinho was dismissed on Thursday afternoon after a catastrophic run of results left the club marooned in 16th in the Premier League and just one place above the relegation zone.

Chelsea director Michael Emenalo claimed on Thursday night that the club swung the axe because of a “palpable discord” between the manager and the players.

Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live on Friday morning, sports journalist Garry Richardson gave what he claimed was Mourinho’s private view on the subject before his dismissal.

Richardson said: “This is a quote from Mourinho, ‘I’ve got a couple of bad apples that are causing me lots of problems and it’s a very difficult situation to handle for me’. That’s a quote from Jose Mourinho and I can tell you it’s 100 per cent spot on.”

The well-respected Richardson caused controversy when he claimed early last month that he had been told by a football contact that one Chelsea player had said he would rather lose than win for Mourinho.

Temper tantrum: Costa threw a bib at Mourinho after being kept on the bench against Spurs

Temper tantrum: Costa threw a bib at Mourinho after being kept on the bench against Spurs

“I was told they’re fed up with the way he’s been dealing with some of them,” Richardson reported on 1 November. “They’re fed up with his outbursts. I was told that his relationship particularly with Eden Hazard was under immense strain.

“Here’s a staggering quote. One player said recently, ‘I’d rather lose than win for him’. Now that last quote may well have been said in the heat of the moment, but it perhaps gives an insight into the mood of some of the players.”

Chelsea will hand Guus Hiddink the job of caretaker manager for a second time until the end of the season.