CAHILL: MORE OF THE SAME
It was hardly the easiest of introductions, but having finally made his Chelsea debut in last weekend's pulsating, albeit disappointing draw with Manchester United, Gary Cahill is now eager to press on and help his side revert back to winning ways against Everton.
With John Terry out injured against the champions, Andre Villas-Boas handed our new signing his first start in a blue shirt, and it was a solid, accomplished performance made all the more impressive given the fact Cahill hadn't played a game for a month.
'It was an amazing feeling to pull on the shirt and play my first game for my new club,' Cahill told the official Chelsea website. 'It was a fantastic occasion and there aren't many bigger games I could have come into for my first one. As I've said before, the reason I moved here is to be involved in games like that so it was brilliant.
'I think playing with David Luiz worked really well, he's a top-class centre back. Obviously with Jose Bosingwa playing at left-back, which he probably hasn't done for absolutely ages, and David Luiz moving from the right to the left in the middle it was all change, but it worked okay.
'They scored two penalties which we couldn't really do anything about, but I said when I arrived that there are top-class defenders at the club, and it's easier to come into a new side and play alongside players of such a high standard.'
The match itself had promised so much, and having raced into a 3-0 lead with only half-an-hour left to play, the three points, it appeared, were all but secured.
United, though, after converting two penalties in quick succession, stole a point with a late equaliser, but while Cahill admits the result left him shocked, he insists it's now all about looking forward.
'I think it's been put out of our minds now, but it was a disappointing result, make no mistake about that,' he said.
'I sat there for about two hours after the game and I was wondering how it had happened, but nevertheless we didn't lose the game and there's no point in us harping on about it, we're looking ahead to a tough game at Everton on Saturday now.
'It's massively important to get back to winning ways, I think all the players are fully aware of that, we need to get back to winning games and I don't think we're too far away from that. Hopefully we can start against Everton, but all the lads know what we have to do.'
Three successive draws in the league have seen us fail to capitalise on the points dropped by teams around us in recent weeks, with our last win coming at home to Sunderland almost a month ago.
With the fight for a top-four place set to run until the end of the season, consistency is the key, and while our cause this weekend has undoubtedly been aided by the fixture list, Cahill admits it will count for nothing unless we fulfil our own objectives.
'I noticed myself that all of the teams around us have got tough games this weekend, but we can't do anything about that, that's out of our hands,' he said.
'We can only influence the game we have at Everton; we've had two good results against them already this season so hopefully we can make it a third.
'Having drawn our last three games we need a win, it will be tough as we saw what they are capable of when they beat Manchester City last week so we will need to approach the game in the right way.'
After a mixed set of results earlier in the campaign, David Moyes's side have begun to turn the corner, and are unbeaten in five matches.
The arrival of Darron Gibson from Old Trafford, coupled with the loan returns of both Landon Donovan and Steven Pienaar, have clearly enhanced the squad, and while the Blues should take heart from our Carling Cup win at Goodison Park in October, we haven't won there in the league since 2008.
Cahill is well aware of the threat the Toffees will pose, but the ground holds fond memories for him having played his last ever game for Bolton at Everton, and he would certainly settle for a similar outcome this weekend.
'It's always a tough match at Everton, I played them just before I moved here, it was my last game for Bolton,' he said.
'In the time since then their team's changed a bit, and with the likes of Pienaar and Gibson in the side they are definitely stronger, it will be tough for sure.
'I hope it goes exactly how it did last time I played there; we won the game and I scored, you never can tell obviously, but that would be the ideal scenario.'