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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Chelsea players will fight for manager Antonio Conte, says Thibaut Courtois

Belgian goalkeeper says Italian manager will have the full support from his players to help him avoid suffering the same fate as Jose Mourinho two years back. They face managerless Everton in the League Cup on Wednesday

Thibaut Courtois warms up in nets before Chelsea's Premier League game against Watford at Stamford Bridge. David Ramos / Getty Images
Thibaut Courtois warms up in nets before Chelsea's Premier League game against Watford at Stamford Bridge. David Ramos / Getty Images

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will have the full support from his players to help the Italian avoid suffering the same fate as Jose Mourinho two years back, the Premier League champions' goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has said.

Chelsea ended a three-match winless streak with a league win over Watford last weekend but the build-up to that game was clouded by speculation about Conte's future with media reports suggesting the players were unhappy with his training methods.

Courtois compared the situation to that of Mourinho, who won the league in 2014/15 but was sacked the following season after a poor run of results.

"We are ready to fight for the coach," Courtois told Standard Sport. "I remember what happened two years ago under Jose Mourinho and things started to be said, there were stories about the dressing room without knowing what was happening.

"We are happy to show that we are ready to fight. We all know what would have happened if we had lost against Watford."

Courtois, 25, dismissed reports regarding player unrest over the manager's training methods.

"Every manager has his own routine. With Antonio we do a lot of tactical sessions and drills. We are fine with it," the Belgian said.

"Last season we were champions with his way and we trained much more than this season, so I don't know why somebody would complain. It's not as if we don't like to train."

Fourth-placed Chelsea face Everton in the League Cup fourth round on Wednesday and captain Gary Cahill believes Chelsea need to add a couple more wins to the 4-2 victory over Watford at the weekend if they are to relax and start producing the sort of football that won them the Premier League title last year.

The champions came into Saturday's match reeling after losses to league leaders Manchester City and Crystal Palace but two second-half goals from substitute Michy Batshuayi saw them come from behind to clinch three points.

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After moving to fourth in the table with 16 points from nine games, Chelsea visit Bournemouth this weekend before hosting Manchester United on November 5.

"We move onto the next one and try to build a bit of momentum that way," England defender Cahill told the club's website.

"We went into the Watford game off the back of two defeats and you kind of feel the weight. It's all about character and we showed that.

"All of a sudden, when you get a few back-to-back wins you'll see how everything lifts and we'll get back to expressing ourselves as we normally do."

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