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Published: 11:44 | 24/10/17

Players will fight for Conte, says Courtois


Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois says manager Antonio Conte has the full support and backing of his players.

Conte's defending champions are nine points behind pacesetters Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, following back-to-back defeats to City on 30 September and to bottom club Crystal Palace on 14 October.

However, the Blues stopped the rot on Saturday by fighting back from 2-1 down to beat Watford 4-2 at Stamford Bridge.

And the Belgian international says the back-from-the-brink victory over Marco Silva's side shows the spirit in the Chelsea dressing-room under Conte.

"We are ready to fight for the coach," Courtois told Standard Sport. 

"I remember what happened two years ago under [Conte's predecessor] 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 [speculation over Conte's future] if we had lost against Watford."

The 25-year-old also dismissed reports suggesting the players were unhappy with the manager's over-physical training regime.

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

"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."

Chelsea captain Gary Cahill admits the mood was "slightly down" before Saturday's win over Watford, but says there is optimisim in the dressing-room ahead of four big games in 10 days.

The Blues face Everton at Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, then travel to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday to take on Bournemouth in the Premier League, live on BT Sport 1 on the eir Sport pack [kick off 5.30pm].

Chelsea then fly to Italy to take on AS Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday, 31 October, then host Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday, 5 November.

"It's easy to play football when everything's going well and you're winning games back to back, it's the best feeling ever, you go out and express yourself and feel as though you're not going to make any mistakes," Cahill told Chelsea's official website. 

"The hardest thing is when things aren't going so well and you have to dig in and get results, and Saturday was one of those.

"When you're in a difficult moment the mood is going to be slightly down because everyone's disappointed, they want to win. But that's not just the case here, or with this team, I would guess it's the same at every other big club."

Chelsea travel to the south coast to take on Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, 28 October. The match from the Vitality Stadium is live on BT Sport 1 on the eir Sport pack. [kick off 5.30pm]

Photo Getty Images/ David Ramos

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