TURNBULL: FANTASTIC SPIRIT

Posted on: Fri 30 Mar 2012

Ross Turnbull helped Chelsea progress to the next round of the Carling Cup last night and after he praised the whole side's performance following the win over Fulham.

The goalkeeper was called into action at half-time, replacing Petr Cech, and was pleased by the resilient performance from 10-man Chelsea.

'The lads were fantastic; it wasn't just me making a save in a penalty shoot-out. The whole squad, the whole ethic of the team was brilliant,' said the shot-stopper. 'We were 10 men against a good Fulham team and we deserved to win.

'There was a fantastic spirit, a great bunch of lads and it was a difficult game playing with 10 men. It was a fantastic team effort.'

Substitute Turnbull faced his first penalty within minutes of the restart when Alex was shown red for a challenge on Kerim Frei and Fulham were awarded a penalty.

Pajtim Kasami stepped up to take the sport kick but smashed his effort onto the cross bar: 'I thought "This is just my luck", a penalty moments into the second half, but we got a bit lucky because they missed the penalty,' reported Turnbull.

'It's difficult to sit on the bench, you're not really expecting to come on but Petr got a knock to his head.

'I came into the changing room and Petr said he was starting to lose a bit of his sight and it was just important to get myself out there and start warming up.

'I didn't know I was coming on until midway through half-time, so it was also important to get my mindset ready for the game.'

After a goalless 90 minutes the game went to extra-time before both teams lined up on the halfway line and prepared for the shoot-out.

Facing the Matthew Harding End, the Fulham players had thousands of Chelsea fans in their view as they lined up to shoot. Normally a goalkeeper will have an idea of where a player aims his penalties, but as Fulham fielded such a young side, Turnbull was unaware of which way their penalty takers would go.

'It was difficult,' explained the keeper. 'Normally we will look at players and look to see where they've placed penalties, but we didn't have anything for them.

'We only had an idea of Bobby Zamora's [penalties] and he went down the middle. I just had to get a feel for where the players were going and luckily enough for one of them I went the right way.

'It's pleasing but that's my job, that's what we train to do every week.'

This fixture last season saw the Blues line-up another young side, who were eventually beaten by Newcastle. This time out Andre Villas-Boas also went for a youthful set-up, but with the likes of Josh McEachran boasting another season's experience under his belt, this team was different from the last.

'Last season we had a difficult draw against a strong Newcastle team, I remember at the time we had a young, inexperienced team but the players now are much more experienced and we have a big strong squad, so we're progressing,' added Turnbull.