'It has been very difficult for Petr Cech', says Chelsea's Mark Schwarzer

Petr Cech

Life on the bench has been tough for Petr Cech to accept, admits Chelsea teammate and fellow goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has praised how Petr Cech has accepted his backup role since the return of Thiabaut Courtois, but admits that his teammate has since found life at Stamford Bridge difficult.

Cech, 32, has made just five appearances for the club this season after Jose Mourinho named Courtois his first-choice following the Belgian’s return from thee consecutive season-long loans at Atletico Madrid.

Linked with a winter departure as a result, Mourinho has continued to express his desire to keep his former number one at Stamford Bridge, but the veteran commented last month that he would look for a solution if he continues to be confined to the bench.

Nevertheless, Schwarzer insists all three keepers share a fantastic relationship, and has backed the Czech Republic international to keep Courtois on his toes moving forward.

“We all complement each other well and it is a very good environment,” he told the club’s official website.

“Thibaut has come in and obviously it has been very difficult for Petr but he has been unbelievable with his professionalism and his determination to stay fit and work hard. I take my hat off to him. He has been amazing and when he had to come on against Arsenal he played exceptionally well.

“Thibaut came in [to the club] against the background of Petr being such a legend and accomplishing so much here and he had to hit the ground running - and he has. He is an unbelievable goalkeeper and has his whole future ahead of him.”

Signing from Rennes in 2004 for £7 million, Cech has made 482 appearances during his time in west London, winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, the Champions League in 2012 and the Europa League in 2013.

Still well-regarded across Europe, he is sure to have a host of top teams courting his signature if his services do become available in the future but, as an undoubted club legend, such an outcome will no doubt sadden most Chelsea supporters.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch