Having returned to winning ways last weekend, Chelsea are looking to start building a string of good performances and good results with today’s League Cup match-up against under-performing Everton, who sacked manager Ronald Koeman after backing him with large sums of money over the summer.
One of the factors that have aided Chelsea’s poor run was injuries, especially to Álvaro Morata, N’Golo Kanté and Victor Moses — with the latter two still out of contention. Despite these problems and the ensuing lack of rotation, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois says the group wants to go far into the competition.
"It’s a cup, and with any cup you want to win it. You want to go far. With injuries, maybe we don’t have the possibility to rotate a lot so we will have to see what team the manager puts out, but I don’t think it’s a moment to relax."
"It’s a different kind of pressure than the Champions League, where we are doing well and we want to stay top of the group. In the Premier League we have to fight to keep on winning games and the League Cup is something else, so we must try to do our best and go far."
"Everton have been struggling at the moment. I don’t think they are playing badly but they have conceded some sloppy goals, and other teams have had more luck, but the Premier League is hard. This is another competition, though, and they will be ready to win it."
Our three-game winless streak started a myriad of rumours claiming there was growing discontent within Cobham towards manager Antonio Conte. For Courtois, this is all media drivel since the players have shown in their game against Watford that they are willing to fight for the club and their boss.
"When a top team has a few bad results the first thing [the media] try to say is that the players are not happy and we’re not behind the coach, but against Watford you saw we fought for every moment and we fought when we were down, so everybody can see we’re behind the coach."
"Those rumours are easy to spread but I don’t think they are true. If somebody is unhappy, instead of going to the press I think they would say it internally, so it’s not true."
"First of all, it’s the players that have to do it on the pitch so it was important to win, to fight. At the moment it’s more running, fighting and battling for every ball than maybe the best football."
-Thibaut Courtois; source: Chelsea FC
A return to good football displays from Chelsea may only come once the first team returns to full strength (miss you, N’Golo!). Until then, it is all about finding ways to win, keeping up good form, and continuing to nip all these Conte exit rumours in the bud.