Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has seemingly backed Jose Mourinho after placing blame on the team's woes firmly on the players, just as his manager did on Monday evening.
The Special One said he felt "betrayed" by his team after they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Leicester City, their ninth of the Premier League campaign.
It left the Blues just one point above the relegation zone and, in all likelihood, facing the prospect of a season without European football next year.
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While the situation at Stamford Bridge continues to deteriorate, Mourinho remains in charge. Many expected that to change on Tuesday morning with his stinging attack on the players seen as a last chance to pass the buck.
However, not only does it appear that Mourinho has the backing of Roman Abramovich, but also the players with Fabregas saying it is those on the pitch that need to step up and start playing to their potential.
Blame it on the players
He said: "We will all have to take our responsibility. If you are a big player and paid like a big player, you must play like a big player and behave like a big player.
"I am not saying you can’t have a bad season and bad games. We all have big players and small players, but the attitude must be spot on.
"We must always be at the top of our games, even when it’s not, and the behaviour has to be better than what we are seeing right now from every single Chelsea player."
The comments bare a telling resemblance to what Mourinho volunteered in his post-match press conference at the King Power Stadium.
“I don’t think in this moment they can feel they are top players or they can feel they are superstars,” Mourinho told reporters.
Lack of pride
With the Christmas period approaching, Chelsea now have the chance to make firm progress. Games come thick and fast over the festive season and their next two games – Sunderland and Watford – both look very winnable on paper.
Six points from those games, followed by a good performance against Manchester United will go a long way to fixing their broken season. To do that, Fabregas says the players must change their attitude and start playing with pride.
He said: “Confidence is important until a certain point. At the end of the day, as a player you have pride. We cannot win the Premier League right now but we must do better.
"Right now is not the time to think of where we might finish, we’ve been saying it almost all season.
"I don’t think about anything apart from wanting to beat Sunderland, play my best and that’s it. Right now no one is easy. We’ve put ourselves in this position and we must now prove that we can start winning.”
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