Former England and Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has urged Chelsea not to sack embattled manager Jose Mourinho, whom he believes is capable of overcoming the club's worst start to a season in 36 years.
Mourinho faces an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge after title holders Chelsea slumped to their seventh defeat in 12 Premier League matches last week, a 1-0 loss at Stoke City.
The Portuguese boss has overseen Chelsea's worst start to a season since 1978-79.
However, Eriksson - now in charge of CSL outfit Shanghai SIPG - has thrown his support behind Mourinho amid reports he could be sacked after the international break.
"Jose Mourinho's situation is a surprise, because they won with style the Premier League last season," Eriksson told the Mirror.
"Nobody expected them to be three points from the relegation area. Football is strange, there is no logic sometimes. Mourinho can turn it round - the season is long.
"I have seen it before when successful coaches with years in football have had bad surprises.
"The only way is to stick together. If you don't do that then it's finished. You are finished. The club must stick together and I say stick together for not only the players. It is the players, yes, but the staff, the club itself, the owner, must all be together.
"When it starts to be too many discussions and too many rumours, then it is very difficult to turn it round. But if everyone sticks together you can do it, of course you can.
"You have to have strength in yourself, you have to defend the whole club from the outsiders. If you are not, then it will be even worse. If you are not capable to do that then it will be the end.
"Jose, with his experience, would be able to do that you would think. But he needs help from everybody."