Jose Mourinho has every right to criticise Chelsea players, says Gary Cahill
Gary Cahill says Jose Mourinho has every right to round on the Chelsea players following their woeful start to the season.
Cahill will experience a "career high" moment on Friday when he captains England for the first time against Estonia at Wembley.
With Wayne Rooney out injured, the Chelsea centre-back is also likely to lead the Three Lions out against Lithuania in their final Euro 2016 qualifier on Monday.
Cahill has started all eight qualifying wins, but domestically he has only been on the winning side twice this term. That record has left the Blues fifth from bottom of the Barclays Premier League table, and manager Mourinho is understandably annoyed with a number of his players.
Cahill was one of seven Chelsea players singled out for criticism by the Portuguese earlier this season. The England vice-captain did not take umbrage at Mourinho's claim that his performances had been under-par. He admits he deserved it.
"We've had a very disappointing start to the season," Cahill said. "It's something we all want to address. When I get criticised, I have a determination to try and put it right, work hard and not start sulking about.
"He (Mourinho) wasn't happy with the way I was playing, along with a few others, and he has every right to let us know that.
"Through tough times, we all need to stick together and turn it round together."
Unlike Liverpool, who sacked Brendan Rodgers on Sunday, Chelsea have stood by their manager.
The club issued a statement declaring their continued faith in the Portuguese.
Mourinho also has the full support of the dressing room.
"Of course we all back him, of course we are all around him," Cahill said.
"Dare I say, he doesn't even need backing. When you've done so much in the game, got the CV and been through everything that he has been, not just in this league or what he has done for Chelsea, but in other leagues.
"I don't even think he needs backing, but obviously it is nice to have that and he has certainly got that from the players and the club."
For now, Cahill can put the disappointment of being four points above the relegation zone to the back of his mind.
His primary concern is doing a good job leading England for the first time in his 37-cap international career.
"The boss told me I was going to be captain this morning," Cahill said at Thursday's pre-match press conference.
"It was a proud moment for me and my family. They'll be down to watch, as they always are.
"It'll be a special moment for them as well.
"I will approach the game like I would any game. I don't want to change anything, but will play the same game and have the same mentality as if I was captain or not.
"But it's something I'm very proud about. It'll be a special day and I want to enjoy it as much as I can."