LONDON • Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has conceded that his side's poor start to the season represents the "worst period" in his coaching career.
The English champions go into today's Premier League clash against Southampton at Stamford Bridge in 14th place, with just two wins in seven league matches and four victories in 11 games in all competitions this season.
No team have gone on to win the Premiership title after such a start.
"I define this as the worst period in my career, with the worst results in my career," said Mourinho, who has been a football manager for close to 15 years.
It is not the hardest challenge of my career but it is the worst period. I've never lost so many matches, that is a fact.
JOSE MOURINHO Chelsea manager
"It is an experience that I don't want to repeat, I want it to finish tomorrow. I am hoping for it to be better but it has been a great negative challenge. It is not the hardest challenge of my career but it is the worst period.
What's a Special One? It is someone who has a good mentality to be the best but it's not for yourself to mention that.
RONALD KOEMAN Southampton boss on Mourinho's self-styled title as 'Special One'
"I've never lost so many matches, that is a fact."
On Tuesday, the Blues fell to their fifth defeat of the campaign when they lost 1-2 to Porto in the Champions League.
Chelsea have lost to Manchester City, Crystal Palace and Everton in the Premier League, as well as Arsenal in the Community Shield.
The five defeats are already as many as they suffered in the whole of last season.
But Mourinho believes Chelsea can be a dominant force again.
"I keep thinking the same. I told you before Arsenal (in the league, which Chelsea won 2-0) - I think we can win every game," he said.
"We are capable as a team to win against anyone - Champions League, Premier League - we are capable of that."
The self-style "Special One" has won 22 major trophies.
While Southampton manager Ronald Koeman acknowledges that Mourinho is a leading manager, he is not too sure about the moniker.
"He is a winning coach. I like how he has done, he's an example to all managers," the Dutchman, whose Saints held Chelsea to two draws last season, told the BBC.
"In some ways, he's special but what's a Special One?
"It is someone who has a good mentality to be the best but it's not for yourself to mention that."
Koeman could yet mastermind another good result against Mourinho today.
Southampton have allowed the fewest shots on target in the league this season while no team have allowed their opponents more shots on target than Chelsea.
The Blues, who kept 17 league clean sheets last season, have kept just one so far against nine-man Arsenal, and have conceded 14 goals.
Only Sunderland, who are bottom, have let in more in the league.
Meanwhile, Mourinho refused to be drawn on the subject of Eva Carneiro, the former first-team doctor who quit after being criticised by the manager.
Although he was cleared by the FA of discriminatory charges against the doctor, FA chairman Greg Dyke said on Thursday that Mourinho was in the wrong and should have apologised.
Carneiro broke her silence yesterday, revealing she was "at no stage requested" by the FA to make a statement about Mourinho's alleged sexist remarks towards her during the match against Swansea on Aug 9.
"Choosing to ignore some of the evidence will surely influence the outcome of the findings," said Carneiro in a statement, adding that she was also the subject of verbal abuse at West Ham last season.
CHELSEA v SOUTHAMPTON
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