With the start of the new Premier League season now a matter of days away, Gary Cahill says it’s important we put the disappointment of yesterday’s Community Shield defeat to Arsenal behind us and quickly move forward.
The Blues were beaten on penalties at Wembley after the game had ended 1-1, with Victor Moses’s strike cancelled out by a late Sead Kolasinac header.
Cahill, who was the only Chelsea player to convert his kick in the subsequent shoot-out, spoke about the sense of frustration.
‘I don’t see it as a setback, I see it as a disappointment because it was a game we wanted to win and an opportunity to win a trophy,’ said the Blues skipper. ‘I don’t care what trophy it is, if you finish your career with six it’s better to finish with seven.
‘We let that slip, obviously penalty shoot-outs are a cruel way to end a game. We’re disappointed but we need to brush it off and prepare for what’s going to be an important season.
‘It would be nice to not finish a game at Wembley with 10 men,’ he added, on the subject of Pedro’s sending off. ‘I’ve been told it was an "orange" card. It seems to be that if it’s a 50-50 decision it goes the other way and once again we lost an important player.
‘It’s hard to reflect positively because emotionally we’re disappointed, but if we’re trying to take the positives I felt we were in control of the game up until the goal and the sending off.’
With the squad having returned from our tour of Asia a week before yesterday’s game, Cahill felt we were in good shape, physically and mentally, going into the match.
‘The mood was fine going into the game,’ he said. ‘The results in Singapore were what they were. We were training double sessions before playing a game, so you definitely don’t feel fresh going into those matches, I take them with a pinch of salt.
‘The Community Shield was disappointing because we prepared well for it. We felt we’d recharged our batteries in terms of what we did in China and Singapore, we prepared well but obviously we fell short.’
Alvaro Morata, who only joined up with the group a couple of weeks ago, started on the bench yesterday and replaced Michy Batshuayi for the closing stages.
Cahill explained why the 24-year-old has been able to quickly adjust to his new surroundings.
‘He has a lot of Spanish friends and team-mates so it’s been easy for him to settle in, I’m sure he feels as though he’s part of the group already,’ he said.
‘I can imagine it’s very different, you’re bringing all of your friends and family over and trying to make that transition. There are no problems, he’s a massive player and he has a lot of experience even at a young age.
‘We will all get together, rally round and make sure he starts the season well and bangs goals in for us. Michy’s been scoring a lot in pre-season as well and they’re going to be vital for us this season, we’ll be relying on them a lot.’
Cahill spoke to Chelsea TV after the game and you can watch his interview in the video below.