LONDON (REUTERS) - Chelsea captain John Terry said Jose Mourinho's sacking was not caused by a mutiny in the dressing room and denied that any players had deliberately performed badly in order to hasten the departure of Chelsea's most successful coach.
"We are aware there have been rumours about player power at the club but I want to make clear that is not the case," Terry wrote in his column in a matchday programme for Chelsea's home game against Sunderland on Saturday.
"Believe me when I say that all of us go out to win every game and we players have to look at our performances and take responsibility for where Chelsea sit in the table right now."
British media have picked out Diego Costa and Eden Hazard as the worst performers in Chelsea's woeful season so far, which has left the champions just above the relegation zone, and both of them had strains in their relationships with Mourinho.
When Hazard limped off in Chelsea's 2-1 defeat by Leicester on Monday, Mourinho's last game in charge, some commentators wondered if he was really injured.
Terry has been one of Mourinho's most trusted lieutenants and was captain throughout the Portuguese coach's two spells with the London side dating back to 2004.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said on Saturday the decision to fire Mourinho on Thursday had been difficult and club owner Roman Abramovich and the board "anguished over it for some time."
"But the start we made to the season came as a major disappointment to the owner, the Board and Chelsea fans everywhere," Buck said in the Chelsea programme.
"We firmly believe we have the ability and the opportunity to turn this season around."
Dutchman Guus Hiddink has been appointed interim manager for the remainder of the season, his second spell at the club.