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Cahill: Benefiting from experience

Gary Cahill says the mindset is good among the players as they aim to secure the victory at West Bromwich Albion on Friday night which will ensure the Blues are crowned Premier League champions for the second time in three years.

Monday night’s comfortable 3-0 win over Middlesbrough, a result which relegated the Teessiders, means we now need just three points from our remaining three matches to guarantee the title.

Diego Costa, Marcos Alonso and Nemanja Matic, who scored his first goal at Stamford Bridge, were all on target in what was a dominant display by Antonio Conte’s side, and Cahill explained why there is such a positive feeling running through the squad at present.

‘It’s one more to go, we have two home games and one away so we’re in a very good position now,’ said the Chelsea defender. ‘If anything we should be enjoying it. After the Tottenham result [against West Ham], naturally spirits were high in training and everybody was buzzing.

‘Everyone went out and enjoyed themselves and there was a little bit of pressure off, although that can sometimes be bad when you relax and don’t do the right things. The players did their bit, created chance after chance against Middlesbrough and now there’s one more game to go.

‘I’m enjoying it more now than I was a week or two ago when it was really tight, we were winning and they [Tottenham] were winning, and the pressure was on. The pressure is still on because we have to win one game out of the three, but with the way we’re playing there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be confident. We’re still doing the right things, there’s no complacency. We work the same way and I know we’ll prepare the same way, everyone wants it more than anything now so bring it on, we’re looking forward to it.

‘It’s going to be a tough game at West Brom, it always is. It’s never comfortable and we need to be aware of that, but we’re looking forward to getting the job done.’

Cahill believes we are benefitting from the experience of successfully navigating the run-in two years ago, when we secured the title with three matches to spare.

‘It feels similar, last time we won it pretty early and in one of the games after we’d won it we went to West Brom and lost, Cesc got sent off,’ he said.

‘It was probably more comfortable last time but the run-in is always the same, there is always a stage in the season when it’s going to be tight, when teams are putting pressure on and you’re having to win.

‘That’s helped us this time, having the experience of that. We’re in a great position now and if we were to throw it away we’d be devastated.’

John Terry replaced David Luiz for the closing stages of the Middlesbrough game and received a wonderful reception from the home supporters, who sung his name loudly and cheered his every touch.

As his team-mate entered the action, Cahill handed over the captain’s armband.

‘I offered it to him last time he came on but sometimes he’s a bit superstitious and he didn’t want it, which was fair enough. He’s obviously the club captain and he deserves the armband, it was great to see him out there.’