Gary Cahill has spoken about the need for consistency within our game, and the captain hopes Saturday’s victory over Watford will now enable us to go on and build some momentum over the course of a busy period.
Prior to the next international break, Antonio Conte’s side face four matches across three different competitions, starting with the visit of Everton in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, and culminating with another home game, against Manchester United, on 5 November. In between those two fixtures, we face away trips to Bournemouth and Roma.
The Blues showed tremendous desire to come from behind and beat Watford at the weekend and, for Cahill, the result was far more important than the performance.
‘It’s easy to play football when everything’s going well and you’re winning games back to back, it’s the best feeling ever, you go out and express yourself and feel as though you’re not going to make any mistakes,’ said the Chelsea defender. ‘The hardest thing is when things aren’t going so well and you have to dig in and get results, and Saturday was one of those.
‘When you’re in a difficult moment the mood is going to be slightly down because everyone’s disappointed, they want to win. But that’s not just the case here, or with this team, I would guess it’s the same at every other big club.
‘I spoke in my programme notes about getting the consistency. If we get some games won back to back, all of a sudden it lifts, but we went into the Watford game off the back of two defeats and you kind of feel the weight. It’s all about character and we showed that.
‘Now we move onto the next one and try to build a bit of momentum that way. All of a sudden, when you get a few back-to-back wins you’ll see how everything lifts and we’ll get back to expressing ourselves as we normally do.’
Cahill was delighted for Michy Batshuayi, whose introduction inspired the late turnaround against Watford, with the Belgian coming off the bench to score two goals.
‘I’m sure he has things to improve but as a player that’s exactly how you respond,’ he said. ‘He’s come on and changed the game for us. He scored two goals and arguably won us the game.
‘I’m very pleased for him and I’m sure the manager and all the coaches are pleased for him. When you have a little sticky patch, to come on and do that is the best way to respond, fantastic.’
In terms of the workload, our schedule this season is far more challenging than what we experienced last year given our return to the European stage.
Having been part of a Chelsea team which won the title in 2014/15, while also involved in the Champions League, Cahill believes it’s a difficulty which can be overcome.
‘We’re not on the training pitch as much because of that and last season, naturally, you felt fresher going into games,’ he explained. ‘We would have played Watford off the back of not having had a midweek match, but you can’t turn around and say that’s why we won the league last year, we won the league two years before that with Champions League football, so it is what it is.
‘It’s more difficult, of course it is. If, for example, you have a knock on your knee, you’ve got a whole week to recover and you go into the game feeling a million dollars, like I’m sure Watford did. But that wasn’t why we won the league last year. It’s just about working and getting the confidence back.
‘You have to remember we’re in the middle of October. We’re the champions from last season and Man City have still got loads of tough games to play, so have Man United and everyone else.
‘We know there are lots of twists and turns to come. We were eight points behind City last season and managed to claw it back. I’m not saying that’s going to happen but we need to calm down and get back to it, it’s still open. We need to stay within touching distance.’