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Dublin: 9°C Sunday 18 April 2021

'I had a rubbish year at Chelsea but I never wanted Mourinho fired'

The Belgium international says he has bounced back well after a poor season with the Blue.

EDEN HAZARD HAS admitted he endured a “rubbish” season with Chelsea last year but insists he did not want to see Jose Mourinho fired as coach.

The Belgium international managed just six goals all season for the Blues, failing to replicate the form that saw him voted Player of the Year for 2014/15 during the club’s title-winning campaign.

Jose Mourinho was fired in December after a disastrous defence of their title, with Hazard coming in for criticism for his lack of form and for seeming to substitute himself due to a hip injury in Mourinho’s final game in charge.

However, when asked about claims he played a role in Mourinho’s departure, Hazard was defiant and insisted he was keen for the Portuguese to stay.

People say what they want,” Hazard told L’Equipe. “It was a period where I wasn’t playing well. But deep down I never wanted Mourinho to be fired. I was behind him.

“We experienced some great things. This year I wasn’t as good. But I picked myself up. I took it upon myself. I was criticised a lot. I made do with it. It doesn’t affect me. I’ve come back well, quite simply.

I haven’t had a good year. You have to be clear — I’ve had a rubbish year apart from the final month [for Chelsea]. I had little problems, injuries and a loss of form.

“When I got back to 100 per cent at the end of the season, I showed everything that I could do. I hope to continue that way.”

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