Belfast Telegraph

Money not the answer to Chelsea's problems

Jose Mourinho insists he will not spend his way out of trouble and has instead called on his under-performing Chelsea players to regain their pride.

Chelsea's meagre defence of their Premier League title is currently the worst by any champions and the club's worst start to a season since 1978, which ended in relegation.

The 2-1 defeat against Leicester - the Blues' ninth league loss of the season - left Mourinho's men just one point above the bottom three and after the match on Monday Mourinho admitted to feeling ''ashamed'' by Chelsea's lowly position in the table - but defiantly claimed his team are not in a relegation battle.

The Portuguese, who also said he felt ''betrayed'' by the performance at the King Power Stadium, says he and his players must be ''humble'' given their predicament and that throwing money at the problem during next month's transfer window is not the answer.

Asked how long he can remain patient with his existing squad, Mourinho replied: ''Well I cannot play, that's for sure.

''My board, my club I don't think it's right I go to them and say these players are not good. We need to spend £50million or £100million or whatever, I don't think it's fair.

''We have these players and it is with these players that we have to go and the players that are not performing well must feel, for sure they must feel, attacked in their pride and their self esteem.

''And they have to do everything to get results in a humble way because I don't think in this moment the players can feel they are top players or they can feel they are superstars. I don't think they can.

''I think in this moment they have to be humble, in this moment they have to look at the Leicester boys and to feel these are the stars, these are the top players. I think they have to look to them and be humble.

''They have to look to Sunderland next weekend and Watford, who we play in the next two games, and say 'Eh, we are at the same level. I am not the super star, I am not the player of the season, I am not the world champion, I am not the Premier League champion. At this moment, I am at your level'.

''The players have to put their feet on the ground and be humble. If not attacked in their pride, which I am. I am totally attacked in my pride because I consider myself a very good professional.

''We have to be humble. This is very important in this moment because in this moment we are where Sunderland is and below Watford.''

Leicester's 2-1 victory saw them return to the top of the Premier League table.

The irrepressible duo of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez once again scored Leicester's goals to send them two points clear at the summit. Substitute Loic Remy netted for Chelsea late on.

Vardy and Mahrez have 26 goals Premier League between them and are two of Europe's deadliest attackers, reportedly attracting the attention of established elite clubs.

But Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri insists no one can afford to buy them and that all bids will be knocked back.

''Nobody can buy them. They don't have the money to buy them,'' said the affable Italian.

''I don't want to put a price on them. For me they don't have a price.

''The performance of Riyad and Jamie is fantastic but they are only the pinnacle of the iceberg because behind them there is a big spirit and a big team.

''They work and help each other to do their best, then we know Riyad and Jamie are our credit card.''

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