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Courtois urges Chelsea to maintain focus and become Premier League title contenders

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Courtois hasn't conceded a goal in over 11 hours.

Clive Rose/Getty Images

We're all aware of Chelsea's drastic change in fortunes since the 3-0 mauling by Arsenal, one that has seen the Blues win five in a row in the Premier League and in increasingly impressive fashion, to move all the way up to second as we headed into the international break.

In the meantime, oft-maligned (last year at least) goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has quietly put together a personal streak of clean sheets, going on 7.5 games (more than 11 hours) without conceding for both club and country.  It was Simon Mignolet in goal earlier this week as Belgium only managed a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands, so Courtois's streak remains intact at 5.5 games for Chelsea and 2 for Belgium.

Of course, in some of those wins, Courtois has had barely anything to do, and that's just fine.

"The clean sheets are nice but, apart from against Leicester and Manchester United, I didn't have too much work to do. That's part of the teamwork. If you defend well you keep clean sheets and that's what's happening with Belgium and Chelsea."

Not that long ago, Courtois was making waves by criticizing the defenses in front of him, so it's nice to see him give credit where it's due.

"We could be title contenders but after last season we have to be careful about everything. We cannot relax because maybe last year we went too easy into the season because we were champions the year before. We have to keep the focus, ambition and hunger to win and, if we keep that, then maybe in May we can lift that trophy."

-Thibaut Courtois; source: Sky

Now, the trick is to keep this streak going as long as possible.  Who knows where it might lead us to.