LONDON, Sporting Alert – First choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois says Chelsea were right to fire Jose Mourinho, who he believes can only blame himself for losing his job at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December after the defending champions made an unfavorable start to the defence of their English Premier League crown after the club found itself lurking in the bottom half of the table standings.
There were many who believe the Portuguese manager was let down by his players who have since moved into the top half of the table since interim boss Guus Hiddink took over.
However, Courtois dismissed claims that the players were not playing for Mourinho, citing that a poor pre-season was the main reason the Blues failed to spark at the beginning of the campaign.
“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,” Courtois told Belgian television station RTBF.
“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.
“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.”
Mourinho is being heavily tipped to replace Louis van Gaal at Manchester United at the end of the season, with several newspapers in England even suggesting that the former Real Madrid boss has already agreed to pre-contract.
Manchester United are currently fighting for a top four place, but even if they finish in the top four, it is understood that Van Gaal would still leave come the end of the season.