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Bolton 2005 preview: Cech on the Trotters' threat and the last step needed

As the build-up to our big #CFCWatchParty on Thursday night continues, we rewind 15 years to a press conference Petr Cech conducted at Cobham ahead of our trip to Bolton in April 2005, and this website's write-up of it...


The Chelsea squad has departed on Friday afternoon for the North-West on the eve of a potentially historic day. Despite the title being so close, the squad are not feeling the strain according to Petr Cech.

Just prior to leaving the Cobham training HQ, the Chelsea goalkeeper said: ‘We have a lot of possibilities to win the Premiership because we have got four games and Arsenal have four games and if they drop points it is finished. So we don’t have to think about pressure in tomorrow’s game. It is not the last game we have to win.

‘Of course we want to kill the Premiership as quick as we can and this is the first opportunity,’ he added, mindful that a single win is all that is needed.

‘It is going to be good for our mentality if we can be concentrated just on the Liverpool semi-final. That will be better for us. We are fully focused for the game against Bolton.’

Although not feeling stress in the overall title race, Cech is expecting to come under plenty of pressure himself during the 90 minutes at the Reebok Stadium.

‘Bolton did very well against us the first game at Stamford Bridge and everybody knows they are a physical side. They have people who are very good in the air. They scored the first goal like that and the second goal they won a header in the 18-yard area and then scored from that.

‘For me it is going to be a tough game and everybody is expecting me to help my defence because there are going to be a lot of long balls, a lot of crosses. They are going to try to win the game through set-plays and for me it is going to be important to do well.’

Should Cech keep Bolton out on Saturday, he will set a new record for a Chelsea keeper of 28 clean sheets in a season. It will set a new club record of 33. He has already set a new Premiership record for minutes without conceding and the team remains on course for the fewest goals let in during a season.

‘It is always great if I can achieve some special things individually,’ he reckons, ‘but I have made two records when playing for Sparta Prague, the most clean sheets and the most minutes but I missed the league title.

‘We missed by one point being the champions and it was one of the worst things in my career. This is my example. I am not looking for the individual achievements, I just want to win a title.

‘In the end it is always the title with a team that counts in the career of a professional player. Because everybody at Chelsea has been waiting 50 years for the title and they are fantastic supporters, this club deserves to win the championship. We are happy that we can be involved in this possibility.

‘For all the Chelsea players it would be the first title in England and it is going to be a great day if we do it. We need just one more step.’

A large squad has headed north. They will not return before the Champions League second leg against Liverpool. Bolton are reporting no injury problems. Full-back Vincent Candela is expected to return to the squad after missing the last game. Ivan Campo is suspended.

Watch Bolton vs Chelsea as live on this website and follow the chat on Twitter using #CFCWatchParty.  The game kicks off at 8.30pm (UK time) on Thursday 30 April.

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