Jose Mourinho’s sacking by Chelsea was caused by a “lack of motivation” among the players, according to former Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Mourinho was axed last week after overseeing Chelsea’s worst start to a league season in 37 years which left the reigning champions only a point above the relegation zone.
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But his departure has been met with anger by the majority of the Stamford Bridge crowd, who booed many of their own players during Saturday’s 3-1 win over Sunderland.
Ancelotti, who has agreed to replace Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich next summer, was himself given the chop at Chelsea one year after delivering the Premier League title.
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And he thinks that motivating his players to go again after such a successful season is where Mourinho had problems, although he indicated that the players were to blame.
“That is the most difficult job for a coach because within a group, both one that is doing well and one that is doing badly, there are always problems to resolve,” the Italian told Goal.com.
“When things are going well, there is a risk of relaxation; when things are going badly, obviously there is a loss of confidence. The coach must always keep a good balance in that sense, lifting the confidence levels particularly when things don’t seem to be working.
“It’s a little of this that Mourinho paid for, the fact that the team had not started like last year, when they had a tremendous desire to do well after a bad year. This year it was exactly the opposite; he paid for the lack of motivation among the players.”
Guus Hiddink has the job of instilling motivation back in the Chelsea squad after being appointed as interim manager until the end of the season.
The 69-year-old Dutchman certainly had a positive impact in his previous spell as caretaker Blues boss in 2009, winning 11 of his 13 league games.
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