Jose Mourinho says he will only walk away from Chelsea if the club's players tell him he is no longer wanted.
Saturday's home defeat to Southampton was the champions' fourth in eight Premier League games and sparked an astonishing seven-minute monologue from Mourinho on Sky Sports after the game.
Among a string of accusations and explanations he said Chelsea would have to "sack the best manager in their history" to get him to leave Stamford Bridge.
But as the dust settled Mourinho tempered that claim slightly, in a clear answer to those suggesting tension between the manager and some of his playing staff.
"People can say what they want. I think you should go straight to the players," said Mourinho, who has received the public backing of John Terry.
"Get a table at Cobham next week - John Terry doesn't go to the national team, Diego Costa doesn't go, Ramires doesn't go. Ask them.
"If they tell you they don't trust me, that is the only thing that can make me resign. The only thing. But not fake sources. The players at the table."
Mourinho also claimed he is enjoying some aspects of what he has called the worst run of his managerial career.
"It makes me understand how big a guy I am," he said. "I am not afraid. I'm not crying, I'm not desperate. It makes me realize how big I was, how big I am.
"When you win and you win titles and you are champion, life is easy. It's easy to be proud. It's easy to be what you are.
"In this moment it's not so easy and my feelings - I'm so unhappy with the sport feeling of defeat but I am so happy with myself with the way I am facing this."
And after citing the decisions of referees, the players' lack of confidence and a series of individual mistakes as contributing factors in Chelsea's predicament, Mourinho is now relying on the intervention of "Mother Nature".
"Only Mother Nature can do it," he said. "They need to feel luck, they need to arrive at half-time winning 2-0, 3-0. They need to fly without pressure, they need to play and feel that everything is going in their favor.
"Not to feel this pressure, this panic, this negativity. Decisions against, unlucky, mistakes. They need it. Time will bring it. I don't know next match, in two matches, in three. For sure they will get that confidence back, for sure."