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Cahill: Not up to scratch

Gary Cahill felt the Blues were below par at Selhurst Park yesterday and he picked out certain elements that ultimately proved decisive in south-east London.

The skipper pulled no punches in his assessment of the defeat to Crystal Palace, our second reverse in a row in the league.

‘We have got many international players here who were away,’ Cahill noted. ’And there are people who came back at different times in the week, which isn’t ideal for the manager I’m sure, but that’s part and parcel. We need to be ready, we need to be more lively than that, and with the basics, second balls, things like that, we were missing out on. It’s unlike us.

‘It was a good start from them, and bad start from our point of view, but we have got enough experience in there. We went 1-0 down and that’s not the end of the world. We got back into it and from then on we should have gone to second and third gear. We could have settled the game down but we never did. Conceding on the stroke of half-time is the worst time to concede.

‘We tried to put pressure on and commit bodies forward, and we had our spells, but chances wise it was few and far between. It was a frustrating day.’

Our disappointment was compounded by an injury to Victor Moses during the first half. The Nigerian joins Alvaro Morata, N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater in needing a spell on the treatment table. Antonio Conte reported after the game he hopes to have the Spanish striker back for Roma’s visit on Wednesday.

‘At this moment in time we are not having the best of luck with injuries,' Cahill said.

'We are in a difficult moment in terms of missing players. It’s not a huge squad and that plays a part, but nevertheless we have got enough out there to produce a much better performance than what we did. The effort was there but the quality? We can definitely do better than that.

‘We are massively disappointed first and foremost with the result but also the quality of the performance we put in. We need to do more.

‘The best thing when you have a performance like that is to play as soon as possible. We have got an important game coming up midweek and we know we can do better.’

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