Cesar Azpilicueta is set to make his 300th Chelsea appearance later today when we take on Manchester City so is certainly not short on experience of what it takes to be successful.
As well as winning multiple trophies since the 29-year-old arrived in London in 2012, he has also lived through downs as well as ups, so knows what is needed to bounce back from defeat, a requirement this weekend if we are to close the gap on the league leaders.
The week started well for Azpilicueta with the signing of a new four-year contract, but that was followed by defeat at Wolves on Wednesday despite the Blues taking the lead at Molineux.
- New Azpilicueta contract announced
‘I think for 60 minutes we controlled the game very well,’ reflected Azpilicueta on that 2-1 loss, our second defeat of the season following on from another away one against Spurs.
‘We had chances to increase the score and when we were 1-0 up I think we could kill the game. We didn’t do it and in five minutes we lost it and from that moment we did not have the reaction we should have had. We didn’t create chances to equalise so it was a frustrating and disappointing night to end the game like this, because for 60 minutes we were in control and I think we deserved more but the Premier League is tough.
‘In the Premier League, when you have the chance to put the game to bed you have to do it because every opponent can create chances.
‘It is difficult to understand how a team can for 60 minutes play like we did, controlling every part of the game, and then 30 minutes completely different,’ he admitted.
Now the target is clear.
‘The only response that we can give is on the pitch in this game today. We know we are facing a team that at the moment is unbeaten but it does not matter who is in front of us, the fans deserve a reaction from the first minute at the Bridge.
‘We have to do a big game as a team, playing all together. We know that after a defeat it is not easy but there is no choice, we have to analyse what we did wrong and what we are doing well to try to win today. We need a big, big performance from everyone. Hopefully we can bring back the happiness to the club and the fans.’
Having committed his future to Chelsea, the Spaniard says his immediate aim is simply to maintain the high standards that have been set, having reached his initial target of becoming a trophy winner.
‘Since I have come here I have felt at home and I never had anything in my mind that made me think about moving abroad,’ he added. ‘When I had periods when I didn’t play I always felt the confidence from the club and from the manager and my only focus was on the pitch, and to work hard and to get my place. So I think everything has been very natural and progressive and I was always focused on improving as a player and winning trophies, which I think is what every player wants to do.’