Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois believes lack of fitness at the start of the season led to Chelsea’s poor PL campaignGetty

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has blamed lack of a proper pre-season for the Blues' dismal campaign in the Premier League this season. After spending most of the season in the bottom half of the table they are currently in the 10th place following improvement with the arrival of Guus Hiddink, who took over from Jose Mourinho.

The Stamford Bridge outfit struggled in the Premier League in the opening half of the campaign suffering nine losses after which the Portuguese manager, who had delivered the title just seven months earlier, was sacked. Chelsea have since seen an upturn in form and are unbeaten in the Premier League since the arrival of the Dutch manager, who is also in his second stint with the west London club. The Belgian goalkeeper believes the club were right to dismiss Mourinho due to their run of poor results.

The former Atletico Madrid star believes their lack of fitness at the start of the season was the main reason for their poor start. Courtois feels that the team needed more days to build on their fitness during the pre-season rather than playing matches straight away.

"It is hard to explain why our season has been bad. Maybe it is as a result of our pre-season preparations, which were very brief," Courtois said, as quoted by The Sun.

"We returned to training on July 16 and six days later we were already playing a match against New York Red Bulls."

"We weren't in a good physical shape. We then lost to Arsenal in the Community Shield and went on to make a bad start in the league. A downward spiral set in."

"We needed a change of manager at that point — I have no doubts about it. We drew too many matches and we have also conceded goals too easily. I could have done better with some of them."