Courtois says back-to-back losses reason for massive turnaround

London, Dec 27 (IANS) English Premier League (EPL) leaders Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois feels the capital football club’s record winning streak started with back-to-back league losses in September.

Antonio Conte’s side beat Bournemouth 3-0 on Monday to make it 12 EPL wins in a row. They moved nine points provisionally clear at the top.

“We knew that maybe our mentality was not right in those two games we lost against Liverpool and Arsenal. They were tough games and we didn’t have the same intensity as Arsenal or Liverpool. If you don’t put the same intensity in as the other side, you will not win that kind of game,” Courtois was quoted as saying by the Daily Star.

“So that’s why we talked as a team about making a step up at that point, because we didn’t want to have the same season as last year. We needed to step up and that’s what we did. Obviously with the current run of wins of course we would say we are doing maybe better than expected after a bad season last year,” he added.

However, the Belgian international felt that they still need to keep working hard in order to finish at the top at the season-end.

“We are top of the league with more points than we had after this many games when we were champions two years ago,” he said.

“So that says we are doing well, but we have to keep on working hard and fighting a lot against the teams who defend more and are hard to break down. We will try to do our best and keep the run going.”

Next up for Conte’s side is the visit of Stoke City on New Year’s Eve.

After 18 games Chelsea are on 46 points, seven clear of second-placed Manchester City who have played the same number of matches.