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Torres thanks fans after 'difficult' start

FERNANDO Torres's first few months at Chelsea have been "very difficult" but the Spain striker said the club's fans had always supported him.

The player has struggled badly for goals since leaving Liverpool for a record fee of £50m in January, scoring just three times.

"When you are doing great and scoring goals from the first day it is easy for the fans to love you, but the first months for me have been very, very difficult," Torres said.

"I have always felt the support of the fans, not just now when things are going right, and it's nice to start scoring for them," said the Spanish World Cup winner, referring to his two goals in the last two matches.

"It (the support) is something that impressed me from the first day." Torres was sent off for a two-footed first-half lunge on Swansea City's Mark Gower after netting in Chelsea's 4-1 home victory in the Premier League on Saturday.

"It is the first time I have received a red card in the Premier League, hopefully the last one, and I am really disappointed because the team had to play with 10 men for a lot of time," he said.

"I tried to take away my legs but I arrived late for the ball and I caught him a little bit, it's a pity."

The red card means Torres will be suspended for the next three Premier League matches at Bolton Wanderers on Sunday, at home to Everton on September 15 and at west London neighbours Queens Park Rangers eight days later. However, he is available for tomorrow night's crucial Champions League Group E game at Valencia.