Chelsea winger Pedro says supporters targeting Cesc Fabregas will not succeed in driving the midfielder out of the club.
In the Blues' first game since the sensational dismissal of Jose Mourinho, Fabregas, Eden Hazard, and Diego Costa, or 'the three rats' as one supporter dubbed them, were relentlessly jeered by those in attendance at Stamford Bridge in the 3-1 win over Sunderland on Saturday (19 December).
The trio were booed as their names were called out ahead of kick-off, while Costa and Fabregas were loudly jeered when they were substituted by first-team coach Steve Holland, who led the home side following the manager's sacking. Pedro however feels his fellow Spain international will eventually win the home support back, although he understands their frustration.
"It was difficult for him but he can get through this. He is mentally strong and very competitive," Pedro told the Evening Standard. "Cesc is a top player, a very good character in the team, he is a winner and it is good he plays for us.
"I understand why the fans are so upset. It is normal when the team and coach are in this position. Jose Mourinho is a very good coach. It is a difficult situation for everyone. It was certainly difficult for the players, but it was an important win.
"The supporters have been good to us this season. They have always been with us. I don't say anything against them, they are part of us."
Former Arsenal captain Fabregas played a hugely influential role during the first half of their title-winning campaign last season after Mourinho convinced him to join his one-time rivals during the 2014 summer transfer window.
The 27-year-old has just one goal and three assists this term, however, having scored four and laid on 16 by this stage of the campaign last season.