With two important cup matches on the horizon over the course of the next six days, there is no time to dwell on last night’s draw against Southampton, says N’Golo Kante.
Maurizio Sarri’s side were forced to settle for a point in our opening fixture of 2019 as we were unable to make the breakthrough against a resolute Southampton side at Stamford Bridge.
When chances did arrive, both Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata found Angus Gunn, the visiting goalkeeper, in inspired form. Kante provided his thoughts on the evening’s events.
‘It was difficult to score, they played a good game defensively but we need to win and to find a way to score in this kind of game,’ he explained.
‘Just to keep going because we knew they were pressing a lot and we could find some spaces,’ Kante added, when asked about what Sarri had said to his team at the break. ‘We had some chances in the second half and we were unlucky not to score.’
As well as being denied by Gunn, Morata had a 70th-minute goal ruled out for offside, adding to the sense of frustration.
‘We were a little bit unlucky because that was the kind of chance from which we can score,’ said Kante. ‘Maybe we need to find the right timing, but the game was a draw and now we need to bounce back in our next match, in the FA Cup, and in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup. We will see what we can do this week.’
Hazard went close on a couple of occasions throughout the match, most notably in the first half when he collected a Toni Rudiger pass and saw his goal-bound strike beaten away by Gunn.
While Kante acknowledged the Belgian’s quality, he spoke about the importance of the whole team stepping up during tough periods.
‘We all know Eden is a fantastic player, he’s helped us a lot during this season and the seasons before,’ Kante said.
‘He can make the difference at any time, but we need to count on everyone. We created chances that we missed. It’s a difficult moment but we need to bounce back.’
The loss of Willian just before half-time added to our injury problems, with Pedro, Olivier Giroud and Callum Hudson-Odoi already unavailable, but Kante is simply focused on getting back to winning ways as quickly as possible.
‘It’s difficult because at this time of the season we’ve lost a lot of players, but we still have a good group and I think we need to do better in the next few games,’ said the Frenchman.