English Premiership

Chelsea's Costa, Fabregas to beat boo boys

Cesc Fabregas (Supplied)
Cesc Fabregas (Supplied)

London - Chelsea's first-team coach Steve Holland backed Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa to win back the club's supporters after they were booed during the 3-1 Premier League win over Sunderland.

Fans of the West London club jeered the pair as their names were read out before Saturday's game on the PA system and then when they were substituted towards the end of the match.

They also repeatedly chanted in support of the sacked Jose Mourinho, who has been replaced on an interim basis by Guus Hiddink, and unveiled a banner saying: "You let Jose down, you let us down."

"I told the players whatever their feelings were regarding the situation, they had a responsibility to the football club and the supporters," said Holland, who took charge of the team with Hiddink watching from the stands.

"We have quality players and they care. I'm not a social media guy so I'm not sure of the exact reasons, but clearly the supporters have a right to voice their opinion. I'm happy to park this and move on.

"I've not spoken to those players. From my point of view I was happy with their contribution to this game and applauded them.

"If the players compete like they did today (Saturday), there will be no reason why the supporters won't be happy with that."

Goals from Branislav Ivanovic, Pedro Rodriguez and Oscar, with a penalty, saw Chelsea end a three-game winless league run against the backdrop of a peculiar atmosphere.

Holland believes that Mourinho will be back in management before the end of the season after the Portuguese expressed eagerness to return to work in a statement released by his agents.

"I think he will be back before the end of the season," said the former Crewe Alexandra manager.

"Big clubs will want him and I think he is someone who needs and wants football. He is not someone who will spend six, seven, eight months doing nothing in particular."

Holland added: "I don't know what the circumstances are contractually. He will want to get going sooner rather than later and it would not be a surprise if big clubs are interested in him.