Willian says the team are determined to secure a trophy this season and the Brazilian believes the FA Cup, which we won last season, is one of three realistic targets.
The Blues take on Manchester United tonight in what is not only the tie of the round, but also a repeat of last season’s final, when we came out on top at Wembley thanks to Eden Hazard’s first-half penalty.
Tonight’s fixture makes it a third consecutive season with an FA Cup meeting between the sides, with N’Golo Kante scoring a long-range winner at the quarter-final stage in 2016/17, and while we have the advantage of playing at home, Willian expects a tough test against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s in-form team.
‘It’s a huge game, a very difficult game as well,’ said the Chelsea winger. ‘They are in a good moment and playing very well but we play at home and we have to do our job, which is to try to win the game in front of our fans. It will, for sure, be a difficult game for us.
‘They have technical players, a strong team and they are Man United so we have to respect that. It will be a big game. We know it’s a different game, not the Premier League but the FA Cup, and we want to win something this season.
‘We have great opportunities to win something. We have this one, against them, we have the Carabao Cup, we have the Europa League, and the Premier League is very difficult but we can reach the top four. So we can go from now until the end of the season and do great things.’
It was Willian who inspired us to victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the fourth round, producing a man-of-the-match display and scoring a brace – his 50th and 51st Chelsea goals – in a 3-0 victory.
‘I was very happy,’ he reflected. ‘I scored two goals and we played very well but now it’s a totally different situation, a different game. It’s like a derby, it’s 50-50 and both teams have a chance to win.
‘It’s an honour, firstly, to play for Chelsea and then to reach 50 goals. I hope there’s more to come. That’s what I want – to score more goals, win more games, to make assists as well so I will go for it and try to improve myself.’
Willian spoke about the changes, both to system and personnel, which the team has gone through since that May afternoon last year when we overcame the Red Devils in the FA Cup final.
‘We changed a lot,’ he said. ‘Our profile to play football, our system. Everyone can see we have more possession during the games, we changed some players as well, and we enjoy to play with this system, so I think we just have to improve ourselves.
‘We are still adapting to a new system. We have only had six or seven months with Maurizio Sarri and we have to improve. In football, in every game or training session you have to improve, because if you don’t the other teams can beat you easily so we have to do that.’
The Blues are unbeaten in our last five FA Cup meetings against Man United, having won four and drawn one, and Willian, who has now scored 10 goals in the competition, believes the squad’s trophy-winning experience could prove crucial tonight.
‘It’s a big chance for us,’ he said. ‘We know how difficult it is to win, you have to sacrifice and do everything to win titles, to stay together and stay strong. We know already what we have to do so we just have to go onto the pitch and do our best.
‘We know we’ve had a lot of ups and downs but this squad knows how to win titles. I’ve won four already here and I want to win more.’