STRONG SPIRIT

Posted on: Fri 30 Mar 2012

Didier Drogba and John Terry believe the recent upturn in results comes from the players making up for previous poor form.

We have won three games from three under Roberto Di Matteo, including Wednesday night's Champions League thriller against Napoli, setting us up perfectly for this afternoon's FA Cup quarter-final against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.

Both players, however, believe there is more to recent success than a simple change of management.

'You can't put your finger on it, but things seem to change, and they've changed for the better for us,' Terry said. 'That's no disrespect to Andre [Villas-Boas], he started something here and he deserves credit for that, but the players don't forget what he started here at this football club, and Robbie's continued that with Eddie Newton as well and Eddie's been great.

'It's disappointing because [Andre] had a vision and a plan, and unfortunately that gets cut short with disappointing performances from us, and it has a knock on effect from us really because at the end of the day we're the ones out there performing and we weren't playing as well as we could do. We've shown what we can do [against Napoli].'

'Now we have to take our responsibilities and that's what we are trying to do,' Drogba added. ''It was great motivation to be written off against Napoli, and it's a good example of what we can do when we are extra-motivated and want to achieve something together.'

At a club where team spirit has this season been questioned by outsiders, there was plenty to see on Wednesday night.

'The spirit of everyone, Fernando coming on, he's not been scoring but he came on for the last 10 to 15 minutes and worked his socks off,' Terry pointed out, 'and it can be hard as well when you come on, I've been out for a while myself and you can lose that fitness and sharpness, but he dug in for the side which is what we needed.

'David Luiz managed to get through the game, he's struggling at the moment, hopefully he'll be okay, but that extra 30 minutes at the end is hard.'

Despite the ecstasy of Wednesday, there is plenty more football to come, with league meetings against Manchester City and Spurs to follow this afternoon's Cup tie against the Foxes.

Despite limping off with cramp in midweek, Terry hopes to be fit as the revival continues.

'Robbie said we've got two months and everybody needs to give everything and sacrifice everything, if you're not playing you need to be there for your team-mates,' he said. 'The FA Cup's been special for him, and hopefully with the magic of the Cup and the Champions League it could yet be one of our best seasons ever.'

Drogba believes we are in for plenty more rollercoaster rides before the season is finished.

'Every game will be very exciting and we are going to take them one by one, the next one is the FA Cup and we have to win because the competition is very important,' the striker said. 'We have to recover, we left a lot of energy after Napoli game, so we recover and then we focus on Leicester.'

Last time we met Leicester we triumphed 4-3 in the Carling Cup back in 2007, with late Andriy Shevchenko and Frank Lampard goals seeing us through on our way to Wembley. It is doubtful whether Stamford Bridge's collective nerve could handle quite so much drama again, so soon after Napoli!