BERTRAND: SHOULDER TO SHOULDER

Ryan Bertrand, a starter in the last two matches, has spoken about the togetherness in the squad and the determination to improve on the results recorded in the past eight days.

The 23-year-old was discussing Wednesday night's 2-2 draw at Reading, a club he served on loan three seasons ago. The game appeared wrapped up in Chelsea's favour until goals in the 87th and 94th minutes denied us another away win.

'We were deflated afterwards, it felt like a loss, being 2-0 up and pretty much in control,' acknowledged Bertrand.

'If anything we were looking to sneak a third goal but this is football and you come to a place like Reading and they are never going to sit down and let you win that easily. Unfortunately we let them back into the game.

'Especially in the Premier League, all teams never lie down and with good crowds behind them, especially if they get the next goal, it is always going to be difficult. Those last five minutes were always going to be crucial, and unluckily for us Reading managed to get the equaliser. It is something we will look at, analyse and make sure we come back better.'

Despite the draw at the Madejski Stadium coming on the back of a similar result at Brentford and a cup exit to Swansea, Bertrand insisted team spirit is high and the squad is united.

'We always have been, no matter what gets written in the papers. Some of it is laughable but we are all together and we fight for one another.

'The players are the ones out on the pitch. When it does go wrong, in the case of all managers they take the blame, but we are the ones on the pitch trying to get the performances right.

'Playing for Rafael Benitez has been fine. It is another learning experience for me personally and I am trying to learn as much as I can.'

The point took Reading out of the bottom three and Bertrand is backing the club for whom he made 51 appearances to survive in the top flight.

'Of late they have put some good results together. Historically they always come good towards the latter stage of the season, and they have quality players and quality on the bench as well as they showed on Wednesday night. They have fantastic manager and I think they will be alright.'