Jose Mourinho admits that Cesc Fabregas has suffered a loss of form but claims he “completely trusts” the Spaniard.
Fabregas was dropped by Mourinho for Wednesday’s win over Porto that secured Chelsea a place in the knock-out stage of the Champions League.
The Blues have made a shambolic defence of the Premier League title, losing eight of the 15 league games they have played this season – with last Saturday’s embarrassing 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth leaving them just two points clear of the relegation zone.
The former Arsenal skipper played an instrumental part in delivering Mourinho’s third title at Stamford Bridge last year, but the Portuguese says he is not alone in underperforming this term.
“Last year he had a huge responsibility for the quality of our team, he was fundamental,” he said of Fabregas.
“This season he is at the same level as the team and it is difficult to play especially well.
“If you go player by player, last season – Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, John Terry – you could say were fantastic.
“This season it is more difficult to say this player is being magnificent.”
Despite Fabregas’ dip in form Mourinho says that he still has complete faith in the Spanish playmaker.
“I don’t see Cesc differently, but what I see is that every minute the professionalism is there and he is never afraid to have the ball or to be afraid to make a mistake. I completely trust him.”