CAHILL: SHARP STATESIDE
Gary Cahill admits he is surprised at the squad's level of fitness in his first Chelsea pre-season.
The defender, a January signing from Bolton Wanderers, enjoyed a 45-minute run out against Seattle Sounders on Wednesday evening, and is now looking forward to facing Paris St Germain at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, but between games has been impressed by those around him.
'I'm enjoying it, it's been a good few days,' said the 26-year-old. 'We've trained hard, played a game which I thought the lads looked really sharp in, and we're looking forward to moving on to New York now which I think will be an amazing experience.'
Having lifted two trophies in his first four months at the club, Cahill knows all about settling into a new environment quickly, and believes Kevin De Bruyne, Marko Marin and Eden Hazard are all adapting well to the Chelsea way.
'The new boys are settling in well,' he said 'These trips are fantastic to bed in new players, where you spend every day with each other and everyone gets to know the new lads, and vice versa. It's great to see them in a game situation, it's where you do the business and are judged, and a couple of them scored which will be good for their confidence now.
'Going to Mallorca on the mid-season break in January was really helpful for me. It's strange at first and you keep your head down a bit and only talk to the familiar faces, but then you come out of your shell and it's a good thing to be able to mix in a lot, which they are all doing.'
On the pitch our tour kicked off with a 4-2 win, and the defender feels it was a good demonstration of progress.
'The most important thing when you're coming back in pre-season is match sharpness, getting your feet moving quickly and making the right decisions and it gradually comes over a few games for everyone,' Cahill explained.
'These are good games we're playing in and will get us sharp. I was pleasantly surprised at how sharp everyone looked. A lot of the time people are sluggish or out of practice but I thought we looked good. Training has been enjoyable and now we move on to three good games and there will be some big tests to come for us.'