MALOUDA ENJOYING BEING CENTRE OF ATTENTION
Florent Malouda relished his start at QPR on Saturday and is determined to make a similar impact from midfield at Swansea this evening.
The Frenchman, usually a winger, was deployed in the middle at Loftus Road at the weekend and is likely to keep his place at the Liberty Stadium with Frank Lampard, Ramires and John Mikel Obi all absent.
'I felt very well in midfield, trying to control the pace of the game and trying to be efficient in everything I had to do,' said the 31-year-old. 'It's a different role in the midfield, you are more responsible for the team's balance and I love being involved in setting the tempo of the game, chasing balls and getting forward. I really like it.
'It felt good on the pitch - I haven't played two games in a row for a long time so it was important I felt good physically, and I think the relationship with the players around me was good as well. I'm looking to carry on with the Swansea game.
'This season the manager made choices that aren't in my favour but I am still competitive and available. As people can see, every time he brings me in I am performing as I always have done. It's a strange season but I'm happy with my performances so far.'
In travelling to Wales we meet opposition who operate in a similar patient style similar to our own.
'Swansea are playing attractive football. We know the coach Brendan Rodgers and some of their players well, and teams had a hard time going there,' Malouda said. 'We know what to expect from them, when they play against big teams they are trying to be at their best and show their quality.
'We have to focus on how we find the solutions and control the game. We have to be strong and close every space in the middle, then play quickly when we have the chance to.'
The former Lyon man insists criticism of our own attacking play, in particular the number of goalscoring chances we are creating, is unfair.
'I think it's a wrong impression,' he argued. 'In the Norwich game last week we had about 20 opportunities, so maybe we do have to be more efficient or calm in the last third, but it's wrong to say we aren't creating opportunities.
'People forget what adversity we have when we play, teams come to defend and park the bus in front of the goal, so we have to find solutions.
'We were conceding a lot of goals but now we are stronger and solid in defence, we're getting back to basics and we have important games to play. We have to be reliable in defence and strong, and we know we have the quality to score.Right now we are building confidence for the most important games of the season.'
Finally, Malouda had comment to make on continuing speculation linking him with a deadline day transfer away from Stamford Bridge.
'There have always been stories since I signed here in 2007, in every transfer window,' he smiled. 'It's always when I am less involved in the team and people question my commitment and guess where I will go, but I think it is strange because if you look at the amount of games I play you can see every season I am playing a lot of games and always available.
'It's just the way it is and I was expecting rumours, but I am still here and enjoying what I am doing.'
See tonight's game in full on Chelsea TV at midnight.