Zouma: Come back stronger

Kurt Zouma says improvements need to be made when we return to action after the forthcoming international break.

We suffered our second league defeat of the season against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, though we should have had a first-half penalty when Zouma was clearly tugged back inside the box as he tried to meet a deep corner. The defender told Chelsea TV he thought that was the case.

It was goalless when that incident happened but two Palace goals after the break, either side of an excellent Falcao equaliser, meant it was the south Londoners that eventually prevailed. Zouma reflected on the final scoreline afterwards.

‘We are very disappointed with the result,’ he said. ‘The target was to win the game to confirm the win last week. Crystal Palace played well and we congratulate them, but we have to think about the next game now.

‘We have a little break of two weeks and we have to recover very well and then come back stronger.’

Indeed the majority of our squad now head off to join up with their national teams ahead of the latest round of international fixtures, including Zouma who has been named in the France squad.

The first chance for us to get back on track comes at Goodison Park on Saturday 12 September, and Zouma has identified the team's play without the ball as one area that particularly needs working on if results are to improve.

‘Sometimes we concede goals and sometimes we don’t, but we know we have not been good defensively and we have to improve that,’ the 20-year-old stressed.

‘I’m a defender so I’m very disappointed and very sad for that. We have to speak to each other and be really concentrated in games and in training as well. We have a strong team and we have to show that on the pitch.

‘We can only think about winning the next game and starting to get clean sheets. I hope we will be back stronger in two weeks.’