Cahill: Big game, big month

Gary Cahill says tonight’s game against West Bromwich Albion is one the players have been looking forward to and he is hopeful we will produce the type of performance which will enable us to get back to winning ways.

A victory against Alan Pardew’s side at Stamford Bridge would move us back above Tottenham, who beat Arsenal on Saturday, into fourth place in the Premier League table.

After two consecutive defeats, Cahill believes tonight’s game takes on added significance.

‘It’s important whoever it was against,’ said the Chelsea skipper. ‘Because of the last two results, and not just the results, the performances which went with them, it’s not been good enough. As players, and I’m sure as a manager, the thing you want is for the next game to come along so you can go out there and put that right. We have the opportunity tonight so whoever the game was against it would have been important.

‘I feel this month is very important. When you come out at the end of February it could shape the season somewhat so we realise that and if tonight we can get the right result, with the right type of performance, we will start building the confidence back into the team.’

While the past two results have of course been disappointing, Cahill says it’s important to look forward and focus on qualifying for the Champions League, as well as two cup competitions we remain in.

‘The last two games haven’t been good enough but when you analyse the number of games you play in a season, you’re talking about two games,’ he said. ‘It’s crazy that with this football club people get so carried away and from the outside there’s this massive drama going on because of two results.

‘We’re still in the Champions League, still in the FA Cup and this month is going to be very important for us. In the league we’re playing for a Champions League spot, along with other teams, because of the way Man City have been performing, and we’re still in there, so don’t get too carried away with it all.’

The travelling Chelsea supporters were magnificent at Vicarage Road last Monday, and the captain had a message for the fans ahead of tonight’s game.

‘Outside of the club and the fans you can’t control it, but I’d urge the fans to be patient because nine times out of 10 we turn things around and become successful again,’ said Cahill.

‘I don’t see this being any different and we certainly have an opportunity to make it a good season.’

Cahill has also spoken about our two most recent arrivals, Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmieri.

‘Olivier has settled in okay. Obviously after the last two results he’s come into an atmosphere that probably wasn’t ideal for him but he’s experienced in the Premier League anyway, we’re not talking about someone who has come from another league. He knows the league, he knows the club, he’s an experienced international player and he’ll have no trouble settling in.

‘People say they need time to adapt to the new surroundings, the culture and the way we play football, I’m sure that will take time, but Olivier’s experienced and his character will be important for us.

‘Emerson is young and he has great ability. He suffered an injury and hasn’t played a lot of football so I’m sure he’s eager to get going at his new club. I’ve seen him in training and he looks sharp. He doesn’t speak a great deal of English but it’s fine because we have plenty of people who can translate and I’m looking forward to seeing him start his career.’