Honest Cesc Fabregas has admitted Jose Mourinho paid the price for putting too much trust in his Chelsea squad.
The Special One was given the boot in December after an alarming first half of the Premier League season which saw the Blues slip towards the relegation zone.
They lost a staggering nine out of 16 fixtures despite having cruised to the title the previous campaign under the guidance of the Portuguese.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s patience finally ran out in the lead up to Christmas and he pulled the trigger.
Guus Hiddink was placed in interim charge in west London and the Dutchman has pushed the Blues to mid-table safety after moving them away from danger.
Fabregas, who appeared as a guest on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, acknowledges the players were at fault and did not live up to expectations.
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea career in pictures:
"I have huge respect for him - we still keep in touch right now," the former Arsenal and Barcelona star said.
"The biggest problem was he trusted us too much, gave us more holiday because we were champions and we let him down.
"That was the main reason he had to go - and for that myself and the team feel bad for it."
Interim boss Hiddink will be replaced by incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Conte this summer.
Conte will lead his country into battle at Euro 2016 in France and is aiming to bow out on a high by conquering Europe.
The Italy chief has a proven track record of delivering trophies in Serie A and Fabregas has been studying the way Conte’s teams play ahead of his arrival in England.
"I love football and I've been studying a little bit what he does with his previous teams," Fabregas added.
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"I played against his Italy recently and it's really interesting. You can see that he loves offensive football and you can see that tactically his teams are so well organised.
"From what I've heard, and it's probably proved by so many professionals talking about him, he's disciplined, he's a winner and he's a competitor.
“That’s what we need. Someone that will always be on our back to push us and make us work hard, teaching us new things; the things he wants to do and achieve.
"All I know is that he wants to win straight away. No more transition, no more excuses. He wants to win and for that we'll have to be prepared from day one."
Here’s a look back at a nightmare campaign for Mourinho at Chelsea:
Timeline: Jose Mourinho's season from hell at Chelsea
August 8 – Mourinho criticises first-team doctor Eva Carneiro and physio Jon Fearn for 'naivety' in running onto the field, at the referee's instruction, to treat Eden Hazard in the opening day draw against Chelsea.
August 16 – The Special One hauls captain John Terry off at half-time in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City; the first time he has taken the defender off in a league game.
September 19 – Mourinho was furious with Arsenal and the FA after Diego Costa was retrospectively banned for a feud with Gunners defenders Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel.
October 3 – After a 3-1 defeat to Southampton, Mourinho practically dared Roman Abramovich to sack him; prompting the club to issue a vote of confidence.
October 3 – In that same press conference, Mourinho criticised referee Robert Madeley and earned a £50,000 fine and a suspended stadium ban, which he is appealing.
October 15 – Mourinho hits back at the governing body and says he's delighted he wasn't issued with an electronic tag.
October 17 – The Portuguese boss criticises Eden Hazard's work rate after dropping him for their 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
October 24 – Mourinho is sent off for accosting Jon Moss during half-time at West Ham as Chelsea are condemned to another defeat.
Capital One Cup exit
October 27 - Chelsea are dumped out of the League Cup as 10-man Stoke City win on penalties
Halloween horror show
October 31 - Chelsea are beaten 3-1 at Stamford Bridge by Liverpool. After the game Mourinho delivers a bizarre post-match interview, repeatedly answering questions with: "I have nothing to say".
November 2 - Mourinho handed a one-match stadium ban and fined £40,000 for his behaviour during the West Ham defeat.
More woe at Stoke
November 7 - Chelsea lose their seventh Premier League game of the season, as they go down 1-0 at Stoke. Mourinho serves out his stadium ban.
November 29 - Diego Costa is dropped to the bench and appeared to petulantly throw a bib at Mourinho. The champions are held to a goalless draw at Tottenham.
Shocked by Cherries
December 5 - The pressure is cranked up further on Mourinho after his side lose 1-0 at home to injury-hit Premier League new boys Bournemouth.
Last game in charge
December 14 - A ninth league defeat of the season, this time to Leicester, comes days after the Blues qualify for the Champions League knockout stages. The Chelsea boss says afterwards he feels "betrayed" by his players, hinting at a dressing room revolt.
End of the road
December 17 - Mourinho gets the boot after days of discussions at boardroom level. Chelsea cancel Friday's pre-match press conference.