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Courtois: Tighter together

Thibaut Courtois believes the whole team deserves credit for the way in which we have been defending as a unit over the past few months.

The Blues have conceded just eight Premier League goals since the beginning of October and despite the fact both Arsenal and Liverpool breached our backline in the last two games, both sides were restricted to very few clear-cut opportunities over the course of those matches.

Courtois made two fine saves against Arsenal to deny Gabriel [pictured below] and Danny Welbeck either side of the break, but for large parts of the game we looked very comfortable from a defensive perspective.

'We defend very well as a team, it’s not only the three or the five in front of me, it’s because all the team do their job and if we play like that it’s hard for other teams to score goals,' said Courtois.

'The players don’t want to relax. We know we still have 14 games to go so we just want to show that we are strong and we don’t want to lose points.

'Next we go to Burnley, which is always difficult. It’s all about the next game and we have to be ready for that.'

With no European football this season, Antonio Conte’s side have benefited from having a full week to prepare for the majority of Premier League games.

Courtois, though, feels there are cases when being involved in Europe can work to your advantage, particularly for those teams with big squads.

'In some ways it’s good, in other ways maybe not,' he said. 'Everybody wants to play in Europe and if you’re in the rhythm of playing a game every three or four days, sometimes you can play better, even though it’s harder at the end of the season.

'We have a lot of people on the bench who want to play and maybe haven’t had as many minutes as they deserve, and if we had European football they would have played more minutes. The other year, when we were champions, we had European football so I don’t think it makes a big difference.'

The Belgian goalkeeper also believes the togetherness within the squad is helping to push us on.

'When the team is doing well and you’re winning, the atmosphere is very good,' he said. 'You can see that on the pitch, everybody is enjoying it and working for each other so that’s very good.

'When you’re in a winning side it’s very good but even last year when we weren’t doing very well the atmosphere wasn’t bad, we always try to do our best.'