Didier Drogba has revealed the last six months have been the toughest of his career.
The Chelsea striker found himself criticised following the Champions League final, where he was sent off and his team went on to lose to Manchester United in a penalty shoot-out. Injury then prevented the 30-year-old from starting his season until September and his appearances since then have been sporadic.
When asked if it has been the toughest period of his career, Drogba told Sky Sports News: "Yes, you can say that, it has been really tough in the last six months. But I've been through difficult moments before so I know how to get myself out of this."
In his absence, Nicolas Anelka has become the league's top scorer and Drogba is now not guaranteed a first-team place.
The former Marseille striker did not score his first goal of the season until November 12 in a Carling Cup fourth-round clash with Burnley at Stamford Bridge.
Then, while celebrating his goal, he appeared to make a one-fingered gesture towards the Clarets fans and threw a coin picked up off the pitch into the crowd.
The FA charged Drogba with violent conduct and he was subsequently given a three-match ban after admitting the charge.
He added: "Too many bad things have been said on me in the last few weeks, I don't really want to speak about it, I feel like what I've done (the coin throwing) is really bad. So it is better for me to keep quiet on that and to be back on the pitch and do what I know best."
However, Drogba has also called for the criticism to be balanced - especially in the light of the Champions League final.
"It's not my fault, I'm a football player and a public person; to be criticised okay - but I think sometimes we need to be fair," he added. "It's easy to say Drogba is guilty for the loss instead to say Chelsea were unlucky. I had to (take the blame)."
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