Interview

Cahill: Much more like it

Gary Cahill says he is pleased with his own form, and that of the team, following three consecutive victories.

The skipper has started our past four matches, with the Blues unbeaten in each of them, and it was another assured display by Cahill, playing as the central figure in the back three, during Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton at Wembley.

Manchester United await in the final on 19 May and Cahill hopes, after last year’s defeat to Arsenal, we can overcome the Old Trafford side and end the campaign with a trophy.

‘It was obviously one of the aims in a season which has had difficulties so to go through to a final, and look forward to a final at the end of the season, is terrific,’ he said.

‘That was our goal and we’ve managed to do it. It would obviously be nice to pick the trophy up after last year, we know how difficult it will be, but we did the job against Southampton.

‘It’s a huge trophy, a trophy people dream about winning. It’s a big trophy, a big deal and we’re in another final. We have that to look forward to and that’s what football is all about, trying to win finals and trying to win trophies, now we have a chance to do that.’

Sunday’s victory was our third on the bounce and followed a dramatic comeback against the same opposition at St Mary’s, as well as an impressive win away at Burnley on Thursday.

Cahill believes there have been plenty of positives to take and in terms of the race to finish in the top four, he outlined our target.

‘The last couple of wins have been good for us and now with both strikers (Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata) getting on the scoresheet it’s a bonus,’ he explained.

‘Some individual performances out there on Sunday were a lot more like the standard we expect from ourselves. I felt we managed the game very well in the second half, we didn’t show any nerves, we kept going and managed the game until the end so that was good.

‘All we can do now is try to win our games, the gap is big, you’re looking at some very good teams above us and I’d be surprised if they slipped up.’

The experienced defender is delighted to be back involved and helping the team following a spell out of the starting line-up, and Cahill insists he has a lot more to give.

‘Obviously you’re there waiting to come back in,’ he said. ‘You’re available, fit and ready to go. You feel like you can add something to the team and you’re waiting for the opportunity to get back out there.

‘You can’t do anything when you’re sat on the bench in terms of form or fitness, or anything, so it’s nice to be back out there and back playing. Football’s a bit of a rollercoaster, it’s not always going to go amazingly well but if you look back over my career since I started, for the majority of it I’ve played 30-plus games every season. Twice I haven’t, this season and the time we finished 10th, so I enjoy playing regularly. I don’t like sitting on the bench and I think it would be a bit of a worry if I said I did.

‘It’s the manager’s decision but what I would say is that every time I’ve been out of the team, you don’t just disappear or turn into a bad player overnight. With form, if you ride it out you come back to the levels you should be at. I thought I played well on Sunday, I felt I did well against Burnley and you can do as much running as you want to get fit and sharp, but I need to be out there.

‘I realise that’s the situation with everybody, I realise the manager has decisions to make and I realise I’m not getting any younger but I’m fit and ready to go. In a weird way, I don’t feel like I need to prove anything, I’ve done it before, time and time again. I’m just happy to be out there and enjoying doing one of the best jobs in the world which is playing football.’

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