Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has admitted that himself, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa have received the most flack from Jose Mourinho during the Blues shocking start to the Premier League season.
The Spain international was signed from Barcelona last summer and was an essential part of the Chelsea side which dominated the league and lifted the title in May.
However, the team have been a shadow of their former selves this term, having already lost seven games and currently languishing three points above the relegation zone.
Fabregas has even been accused of leading a player revolt against the Special One in recent months, a claim he strenuously denied via Twitter.
And the former Arsenal star has now admitted that he along with, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard have regularly been ‘clipped around the ear’ by their under-fire boss.
Fabregas told Spanish radio show El Partido de las 12:
“When things are going well you are the best, and when they go badly you are over and no good for anything.
“Maybe the players who have been clipped around the ears most in the time we’ve been together have been Hazard, Diego Costa and me.”
However the player, who won the World Cup and back-to-back European Championships with Spain, claimed his relationship with Mourinho remains strong:
“My relationship with Mourinho is good, as always, but when things are not going well there is always a search for alternatives.”
“I do not believe they are going to sack Mou.
“He trusts in us, and we trust in him, and we must come out of this bad moment all together.
“Our results are not showing our level of play. But I am sure they will get better.”