Thibaut Courtois has expressed mixed emotions upon his return to first-team action for Chelsea following three months on the sidelines in the 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth on 5 December. The Belgium goalie, nevertheless, has urged his team to keep their mojo up ahead of a crucial week that sees them play a crunch Champions League match against Porto before a trip to Premier League leaders Leicester City.
Having been out of action since incurring a knee injury in September, Courtois was returned between the sticks by Jose Mourinho over Asmir Begovic for the visit of fellow strugglers Bournemouth. Courtois proved his worth during the first half of the game, blocking Josh King at least three times, but failed to do the same in the 82nd minute, allowing Glenn Murray to hit home the only goal of the game.
"I just try to play my game, help the team like every player wants to do," he, said as quoted by the club website. "I think I started well with some good saves, but it's a pity for the goal I couldn't have a good touch on the ball."
"If you're being pushed by another guy it's not easy to have a hard hit on the ball and it ended up at the wrong foot and it was a goal."
Having already been knocked out of the Capital One Cup, the Blues' chances of retaining their title are effectively over, stuck in 14th position with just 15 points from 15 games. A hideous situation could worsen still on Wednesday (9 December) should the Blues fail to avoid defeat against Porto, which would see them eliminated from the Champions League.
Courtois says it is time to put recent disappointment behind and prove they can turn the situation around in the two coming games.
"Of course we are upset, but we have to regroup again and show strength against Porto in the Champions League and next Monday at Leicester," the keeper added. "It's an important week for us. On Wednesday we have to win to make sure we qualify. That will be a big boost for the team as well."
"Then Leicester away is a difficult game. We knew last year it was not easy there and now they have the confidence and are playing really well. It will be a very tough game but we are confident we can push on there."