London: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho sent out an emotional salute to the fans for their unflinching support after a crucial win over Dynamo Kyiv in a Champions League Group G clash at the Stamford Bridge here.
The reigning English Premier league (EPL) champions defeated their Russian opponents 2-1 on Wednesday to record only their second win in nine matches.
The win was a major boost for Mourinho as his players produced a superb performance to dominate the game. The embattled manager received massive support from the fans as vast sections of the packed stadium chanted his name and the 52-year-old was visibly emotional after the match.
"To have the whole stadium supporting me in a difficult time is an unforgettable moment in my career.
"When I came back to the club and we played the first match at home against Hull City, the way the stadium welcomed me was amazing. But not comparable to today. Today came in a moment where the results have not been good. It comes in a moment where people are asking for my 'end'. The fans read newspapers. They watch television. They listen to pundits, commentators, opinions, read blogs, and this was quite unbelievable what they tried to say today," Mourinho was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Wednesday.
"They tried to say: 'We want you here.' And, probably, they want to say: 'All of you, let him work. We want him. Let him work.' It was fantastic. The players showed they wanted to win. Today they did. Last week, no, but they showed again they wanted to win. And the fans showed their passion for the club. Fundamentally, that's what they showed. Passion for the club. And then to support the club's manager, that’s a way to show respect and passion for the club. Amazing, really.
"With Chelsea, I think this is my moment. It was amazing. The club should be proud of their fans. I can only thank them by giving everything I have, to thank them for this reaction. The fans recognise I'm a good pro and have brought them great memories. Until my last day in this club, if that is in four years’ time, 10 years or 15 years, I will give everything to them," he added.
"In good moments you see the streets full of people celebrating in a buzz, and it's easy for kids to go to school in a Chelsea shirt when Chelsea win every match. But it's not easy for 10 or 12-year-old kids to go to school with a Chelsea shirt when Chelsea are losing matches, when probably they are bullied by other kids whose teams are winning."
Aleksandar Dragovic equalised for Kiev after opening the scoring with an own goal. But Willian smashed home a late free-kick to ensure the full three points for Chelsea.
"To win after conceding a goal with 15 minutes to go, it's important. It's something I spoke about with the players. 'When the difficult moment arrives,' I said to them, 'face the difficult moment. Don't collapse. Keep the belief.'
"The win is a big relief. To qualify, we didn't need a win. So, at 1-1, it was not a drama. But, from a mental point of view, it was important to provide a reaction to a negative moment. In other matches we've played well, but when a negative moment arrived the team felt it too much, and it was difficult to emerge again in the game, to have control in the game. The team was strong mentally and kept trying, and I’m happy with that," the former Real Madrid manager said.
"They wanted to win the game and had the confidence to do so. Now we can still finish first in the group."