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Saturday 16 December 2017

Temp Head

Fernando Torres is desperate to repay the Chelsea fans for their unstinting show of support during the worst spell of his career.

"Since I joined Chelsea the fans have been amazing to me," Torres said ahead of tomorrow's Premier League game at home to Manchester United. "It has been very important to have the fans behind me.

"At the beginning of the season I went through the hardest moments of my career. The only thing that gave me hope was the support of the people," added Torres who has had an extended run in the Chelsea team in recent weeks with Didier Drogba on African Nations Cup duty with Ivory Coast.

The 2010 World Cup-winning striker, who joined Chelsea from Liverpool for a British record fee of £50m 12 months ago, has gone 19 matches without a goal for club and country.

Torres said he experienced one of the best moments of his career when the fans kept cheering his name while he was on the bench for the 3-0 home league win over Wolves back in November 26.

"That game against Wolverhampton showed me there is something very important to fight for, the love of the fans," said the 27-year-old. I've never had that feeling from supporters before -- and I wasn't even on the pitch."

The visit of second-placed United gives represents an opportunity for Torres to make amends for an open goal he missed at United.

"I missed when I dribbled round David De Gea. Hopefully, this kind of thing only happens once in a lifetime," he said, smiling.

3SOCCER: pages 59-63

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