CAHILL: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
Champions League debutant Gary Cahill admitted it was not an occasion for him to savour on Tuesday evening.
The January signing was sampling Europe's premier competition for the first time in Naples, and quickly discovered the harsh realities of life in the elite as Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani struck to deal a major blow to our hopes of reaching the last eight, after Juan Mata had given us an early lead.
'We knew it would be a difficult night, so when we went 1-0 up we should have shut the door but to concede two goals quickly was disappointing,' said the central defender.
'They are fantastic players and they caused us problems but it wasn't through loads of creativity, it was with the long ball, and today for some reason we found that difficult.
'Collectively we take the responsibility, it was a number of things and not dealing with the route one ball is basic football.'
Cahill, 26, acknowledges he has joined the club at a difficult time but also believes the tie can be turned around at Stamford Bridge in three weeks.
'It was a disappointing night all round and even though it was my Champions League debut it was disappointing. It's not one I will remember fondly,' he conceded.
'It's a sticky situation at the minute, and I've come in probably at the thick of it. But as soon as we get results we'll turn the corner.
'To score two goals at Stamford Bridge is by no means beyond the realms of possibility and that's what we have to hold on to, and the job we have to do.'
We now turn our focus to a meeting with Cahill's former side, Bolton Wanderers, this Saturday, and the 6ft 3ins defender knows any feelings towards friends and ex-team-mates must be left behind if we are to take the three points.
'It's come round quickly, it'll be a strange situation for me if selected, knowing the lads and how they play, but we need to get a result and I need to put in a good performance for sure,' he said.
With John Terry likely to be out for at least the next four weeks, the opportunity is there for Cahill to stake a claim for a regular spot, most likely as Terry's long-term partner. Manager Andre Villas-Boas has said he needs to work on Cahill's partnership with David Luiz after last night's game in Naples, and they will be hoping to have improved their understanding by 3pm on Saturday.