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Thibaut Courtois blames poor pre-season for Chelsea decline



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Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has explained that the main reason behind Chelsea’s decline this season is the poor pre-season preparation under Jose Mourinho.

The Belgian claimed that the Chelsea players were not match-fit when the season started and, therefore, struggled to get going. He also criticised Jose Mourinho’s pre-season preparations and highlighted them as the main reason for the lack of fitness.

He claimed that the pre-season was very brief and a longer pre-season would have prepared them physically for the start of the Premier League.

He said: “Maybe it is as a result of our pre-season preparations, which were very brief.”

“We returned to training on July 16 and six days later we were already playing a match against New York Red Bulls.”

“We weren’t in a good physical shape.”

“We then lost to Arsenal in the Community Shield and went on to make a bad start in the league.”

“A downward spiral set in.”

Chelsea won the Premier League title under Jose Mourinho last season, but a catastrophic start this year cost the Portuguese manager his job. Mourinho was sacked from his post towards the end of 2015.

Chelsea have put on one of the worst title defenses in the history of the Premier League this season. The blues are currently 10th in the League table, 25 points behind Premier League leaders Leicester City.

Courtois also admitted that a change of manager was necessary and that Hiddink has transformed the side since his arrival. He also acknowledged that the players (including himself) could have done better to arrest Chelsea’s slide during the first half of the season.

He added: “We needed a change of manager at that point, I have no doubts about it.”

“We drew too many matches and we have also conceded goals too easily.”

“I could have done better with some of them.”