Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Chelsea to regain their usual elite form under Jose Mourinho after a dismal start to the Premier League season.
Chelsea are 16th in the table after earning just eight points from as many games and suffering four defeats — one more than they lost during their entire title-winning campaign last season.
Ferguson, the legendary Manchester United manager who is in the United States promoting his new book “Leading,” told ESPN FC that he was as surprised as anyone by Chelsea’s lacklustre start.
“For Jose, it’s probably the first time it’s come up, a situation whereby his team is now fifth-bottom of the week. Unbelievable,” Ferguson said.
“Everyone, including myself, are thinking they were going to be difficult to beat. But great managers find solutions.”
Ferguson also said Mourinho had a clear plan in his bombastic interview following Chelsea’s most recent 3-1 defeat to Southampton, in which he spoke uninterrupted for over seven minutes and said he should stay on as manager.
“I think that Jose’s press conference the other day was challenging the owner to support him in a bad time,” Ferguson said.
“At times you maybe don’t think you’re getting complete support from everyone, but it happens. It’s not always correct, and I don’t think it’s correct what Jose’s thinking at the moment — I think he’s got the support.
“He will find a solution. It may take a few weeks, but you’ve got to remember, he’s lost his goalkeeper [Thibaut] Courtois, who’s a fantastic goalkeeper.
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“John Terry is in a little difficulty adjusting to his last season maybe, who knows — he played every game last season, the best central defender they’ve ever had — and he’s in a difficult time.
“So if the span of your team is not what it normally is, do you expect to get consistent results? I don’t think so. “
Mourinho has said he would quit if he ever lost support of his players, but Ferguson said that would not be an issue.
“I think, knowing Jose Mourinho and the one thing I always admired about him and his team, they always play for him, they always try, so the ingredients are correct,” Ferguson said. “He just has to find the solution to get his team back on track and I think he’ll do it.”