Chelsea star admits the team are feeling the pressure
The fall out from the last week rumbles on. Two dropped points on Sunday that had followed our Champions League exit and all sorts of comment and speculation over what has happened fills the pages we read daily.
Jose Mourinho spoke after the Champions League exit and mentioned that the players had struggled to cope with the pressure of expectation and ever since, that seems to be the biggest hurdle we face.
So to Sunday's performance which wasn't good despite there being <some positives to take from the game. Chelsea struggled in the first half; better in the second half but dropped two points. The fact that Manchester City had lost to Burnley the night before did us a favour and saw us extend our lead at the top of the Premier League to six points.
Gary Cahill speaking after the game surprisingly admitted that the team ARE feeling the pressure to wrap up their first Premier League title as a group and Chelsea's first in five years.
“We are desperate - desperate is not the right word - we are looking for the next convincing win, next win to get us back up and running. It’s not the end of the world. Manchester City dropped points and we picked up another point.
The goal difference is good, so it’s far from the end of the world. But we are looking for the next result. Obviously, there was disappointment in the week. It’s hard to gather momentum coming into a game when it was disappointing just a few days ago, but I’m sure we will kick on.
It’s a massive opportunity for this season, everybody knows. Ten games left to go and we are in a fantastic position, and we need to bear that in mind. We should be going out playing with freedom and not feeling pressure.
We should be going out enjoying (our football) and I think that comes with winning games and the next win, I’m sure, is just around the corner for us.”
I guess if you think about it, we haven't had a convincing win since Swansea away. On that day we blew them apart and that's what I feel we need to kick start our run in to the title.
Without question, Chelsea are having their blip at the right time. We are lucky in the fact that we sit six points clear and City have dropped points. It will be interesting to see if the Premier League now bring our game in hand forward (Leicester at home) now we are out of the Champions League.
We win our game in hand to sit NINE points clear and it will look totally different for Chelsea. I know we haven't played well for a while but we HAVE to have a sense of realism here. I would much rather be in the position we are in; to struggle with the pressure of expectation than to do it chasing a team at the top of the league.
This is a fantastic week for Chelsea and an opportunity for the team to regroup, get their heads right and to focus on three points at Hull on Sunday. I would take a 1-0 right here and now because the result is the most important thing to take from the game.
However, if we can deliver a similar performance and result to Swansea away, that would be a massive boost to the players and would hopefully give us the kick up the arse we clearly need for the title run in.