Football

Courtois: No repeat of 2015 collapse with Conte

Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois has insisted that the players will try to keep manager Antonio Conte in his job by preventing a repeat of the 2015/2016 collapse which saw Jose Mourinho sacked.

The defending champions ended a three-match winless streak with a 4-2 league win over Watford last Saturday, 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 all know what would have happened (more debate over Conte's future) if we had lost against Watford."

Courtois, 25, also dismissed reports regarding player unrest over Conte'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."

His teammate Gary Cahill believes the Blues need build on the comeback victory against Watford if they are to relax and start producing the sort of football that won them last year's Premier League title.

He told the Chelsea website: "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."

Chelsea can make it back-to-back wins when they host Everton in the fourth round of the League Cup tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

Said Conte: "I think for the game against Everton, it is a good opportunity to give a chance to young players like Charly Musonda and Kenedy.

"They are young but they deserve this chance."

Taking charge of Everton will be the club's under-23 manager David Unsworth. - WIRE SERVICES

Antonio ConteJose MourinhoCHELSEA (EPL)