He also offered a possible explanation for the club’s dreadful season, which has seen them completely flop in defence of their Premier League title – with Europa League qualification now looking like a lofty goal.

He told ​The Sun: “It is hard to explain why our season has been bad. 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.”

 Speaking about Mourinho, he admitted: “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.”

Blues forward Eden Hazard has come in for heavy criticism throughout the season, having failed to score a single goal in either the Premier League or Champions League, but Courtois said: “I see Eden in training every day and he is the same player he was last year. He was very strong against Paris Saint-Germain and in other games before then.

READ ALSO  Jack Warner Banned From Football for Life By Fifa Ethics Committee

“He made the same runs and moves he made last season. But he did not score or create a goal in those games, so it is easy to criticise him.”