By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes
Jose Mourinho has admitted that Chelsea are in serious danger of finishing outside of the top four this season.
The Portugese claimed his principal objective is to guarantee that the Premier League champions qualify for next season’s Champions League.
But Mourinho suggested that a place in the first six could be the best that the club can hope for after they lost 1-0 to Bournemouth on Saturday night, their eighth league defeat from just 15 matches.
It leaves Mourinho’s team marooned in 14th place in the Premier League table, just three points above the relegation zone and a distant 14 points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the Bournemouth defeat, Mourinho said: “I’m concerned, obviously. I was concerned before this game because I’m not happy with this position.
“Obviously, Chelsea will never be fighting for relegation. No chance. Chelsea will win matches and come out of that area [in the table]. That’s not the point.
“The problem is our objective is to finish top four and before this game that was fair for us to think and feel that with our quality that we could win three or four matches and push us up to a position where I was expecting us to be by the end of December.
“Defeat has put us in, I repeat, not a dangerous position but our objective is not to fight for relegation. If our objective is to finish top four, maybe we have to think about top six.”
Mourinho suggested that one of the key factors in the team’s wretched run of results has been the inconsistency of the players.
The team who romped to last season’s Premier League title have scored just one goal in their last four matches and just 17 in 15 league matches this season.
“If our players are not able to give the maximum every day that is a problem,” added the Portugese. “If you analysis match after match there are a few layers where it is difficult to be consistent.
“You think there is evolution, but maybe it is just one moment in which they are good.”