May 14, 2017

Courtois: Last Year Drove Us On  (Sky Sports)

Thibaut CourtoisChelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois says last season's disappointing campaign was a "one-off" which spurred the team on.

The Blues sealed their second Premier League title in three years when they won 1-0 at West Brom on Friday night.

But their title defence last season was a shambolic affair which led to the sacking of Jose Mourinho, a 10th-place finish, and the eventual hiring of Antonio Conte to revitalise the club.

The Italian has emphatically succeeded and Courtois told the Chelsea website that the team have answered those who criticised last season's displays.

"We had a bad season," said the Belgium international. "We had a lot of critics, a lot of laughter at us.

"It's not nice, after a season when you won the league.

"Some of the criticism was deserved, some not, but to bounce back in this way, to be champions again and to have been top a long way, is amazing.

"They said we didn't want to play any more, that we are lazy, and that's not true.

"We try to win our games and last year was just a one-off, especially for a team like Chelsea with the players we have here.

"Everybody was hurt in their pride and that's why we wanted to bounce back this season."

Chelsea will be back in the Champions League next term after a one-year hiatus.

Courtois was a member of the Atletico Madrid side which lost the 2014 final to Real Madrid in extra-time, having been in front with seconds of normal time remaining.

"Obviously next year there is a new goal, with the Champions League coming for us," Courtois added.

"It's been a few years since Chelsea have won it and I missed out on one in the last minute, so a lot of players are hungry to win that as well."

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