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Sunday 18 March 2018

Thibaut Courtois unhappy with Chelsea's boo-boys

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has called for Chelsea supporters to stop
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has called for Chelsea supporters to stop "booing and whistling" after a third straight goalless draw

Thibaut Courtois has rebuked Chelsea's fickle fans for "booing and whistling".

A smattering of dissent could be heard during Saturday's Premier League clash with Leicester, which was Chelsea's third goalless draw in a week.

The Foxes dominated until the second-half sending off of Ben Chilwell, for two yellow cards, and the Blues' performance was lacklustre. Chelsea are yet to win in 2018.

Courtois told Chelsea TV: "I know we as a team didn't have a good game, it was our third goalless draw, but we need the fans here at Stamford Bridge to get behind the team and not, when a player has a bad pass or a bad shot, start booing and whistling. I don't think we're playing a bad season."

Courtois had been asked about Chelsea's preference to play out from the back and the challenge of doing so against Leicester's press, and volunteered the advice to Blues fans.

"It's important that the fans must know that we want to play out from the back," the Belgium goalkeeper added.

"And they don't have to get nervous. If they start shouting it doesn't help us. (Against Leicester there) was too much of that.

"When we play out from the back it's important for us that they know that we want to do that. There's a risk involved and we know that, but that's our game."

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte rotated his options for last week's FA Cup third-round tie at Norwich and can be expected to do so for this Wednesday's replay.

It had always been his intention to field largely the same players against Leicester as against Arsenal, in last Wednesday's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, and he once again lamented the size of his squad.

"During the game I understood many players didn't recover from the game against Arsenal," Conte said on Chelsea TV.

"When you have to face four competitions and you continue to go to the next round, then you must be prepared to play big games, massive games.

"At the same time you must have a big squad to face four competitions. Otherwise you're in trouble."

Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy were to the fore as Leicester troubled Chelsea.

But they could not claim the breakthrough and had to survive with 10 men when Chilwell was dismissed in a decision Foxes boss Claude Puel described as "harsh".

Defender Harry Maguire told LCFC TV: "I think Ben Chilwell made two fouls the whole game and he's been booked for both.

"It is a bit disappointing but the tackles maybe warranted yellow cards and the referee (Mike Jones) got it right.

"When we went down to 10 men we knew it would be backs against the wall. If someone said to us 0-0 at half-time we would've jumped at it. We're happy with that."

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