Analysis

Cesar Azpilicueta thanks Blues fans and prepares for a big end to the season

As he reflected on our Carabao Cup final defeat, Cesar Azpilicueta paid tribute to the Chelsea supporters and looked forward to the rest of the season with so much still to play for.

Azpilicueta skippered the side at Wembley and was one of our successful spot-kick takers in the penalty shoot-out that followed two tense goalless hours of football.

Ultimately it was Manchester City who went home with the trophy, but despite the final outcome the Spaniard found reasons to be positive, among them the backing the team received from over 30,000 Blues at the national stadium.

‘First of all, we did a very good effort, everyone involved, we ran a lot and fought a lot,’ Azpilicueta said.

‘It is true we lacked a bit with the ball, but we had some good chances as well. We knew we had to fight against a very strong team, and we are disappointed.

‘Our fans were amazing, even in the difficult moments. We deserved to be here, we played until the end, but we were not able to win the cup on penalties.

‘Now it is time to recover. It is hard because on Wednesday we have a very tough game.’

The midweek meeting with Tottenham provides us with a chance to build on the promising showing yesterday, and the task Azpilicueta and his team-mates face now is maintaining a level of performance that gives us a chance of making the top four and ending the season with silverware.

‘We are Chelsea, we are used to competing and fighting for trophies, but at the same time it's frustrating as we haven’t shown our level and this inconsistency leaves us where we are in the Premier League,’ the defender said.

‘We have to be focused and play in the Europa League, and also try to qualify for the Champions League. We are ready to fight for it.’

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