Gianfranco Zola speaks about Alvaro Morata’s confidence, our aims for the season and breaking down deep defences…
The FA Cup played a big part in Gianfranco Zola’s history as a Chelsea player and now he is an important part of a coaching team hoping to help the club win the trophy again.
That quest begins tomorrow against Nottingham Forest and although Zola has explained rotation of players will be necessary with the game coming during a very busy period, the Blues are not taking it lightly. It is also a chance to find the Stamford Bridge net again after a 0-0 draw and 1-0 defeat in the previous home games.
‘For this club, and also for us [this squad and staff], all competitions are important.’ Zola said. ‘We are trying to establish ourselves and we respect this competition very much so we are going to try to do well.
On the need to score more goals
‘We have a task in front of us,’ Zola said. ‘Nowadays the teams come to Stamford Bridge and 90 per cent of the time they sit back in the last 40 metres, and bear in mind with that task it is not easy for anybody. In the past Barcelona had that problem, Bayern Munich, Man City, Liverpool, everybody suffers when there are no spaces up there.
‘This is something we need to get used to, this is the big issue we have - for the amount of time we have the ball we do not create a lot of goal opportunities but we know this is part of the process. We are not a perfect team yet.
‘We are going to sort it, I am sure. We have intelligent, quality players up front and the players are going to get used to it. They just need to adjust to the task.’
Zola believes the busy Christmas schedule and tiredness in legs made it harder for the players to be ’brilliant and sharp’ against Southampton, the term he uses for what is needed to break down such defences. He also says Alvaro Morata is currently affected mainly by a dip in confidence.
‘I have been a striker myself and when you get into these loops, when you are looking for the goal all the time and it does not come, you lose confidence,’ explained the Italian. ‘Then the less confidence you get the less you are going to score.
‘It is one of those things that happens frequently with all the players. Alvaro has to understand that for us, it is important yes when he scores, but also important when he comes and plays and does all the things that are important for the club. The goal has to be only a consequence of what you do for the team. The way we play always helps the front players to score. You have to keep working for the team.’