Chelsea legend Pat Nevin hailed Antonio Conte for ordering his goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to warm-up at half-time in their win at Sunderland last weekend.
The Blues were 1-0 victors at the Stadium of Light, with Belgium international Courtois producing in a solid display in the second-half to deny the Black Cats as they looked for a late equaliser.
However, Chelsea’s dominance earlier in the game meant that the 24-year-old was left with not much to do between the posts, meaning a half-time warm-up was needed so it would keep him alert.
“Any manager who sends out his keeper at Sunderland for a half-time warm-up because he had so little to do in the first period, and then watches him produce a couple of wonder saves at either end of the half might well be lucky but he is far more likely to be good,” Nevin wrote in his weekly column on Chelsea’s official website.
However, the shot-stopper has done it before; with Belgian football expert Kristof Terreur claiming this was something Courtois has done through the majority of his career to make him stay prepared and vigilant in poor conditions.
He tweeted: “Thibaut Courtois is out early for his HT warming-up. Always does that on cold days. Used to be a ritual in Genk, back in the days. #cfc”
By Drew Darbyshire (@DarbySports)