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James on ‘positive performance’ and fan ‘boost’

Reece James was pleased with another clean sheet, even if we missed out on victory against Tottenham, and is looking forward to having supporters back at Stamford Bridge.

The right-back put in some dangerous crosses during that 0-0 draw with Spurs and looked as likely as anyone to provide a route to breaking the deadlock. As it was, Timo Werner had a goal ruled out for offside and Hugo Lloris saves denied Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud as they went closest to getting the winning goal, but it ended in a stalemate in west London.

James was obviously unhappy to have to settle for a point against our rivals in a London derby, but is looking on the bright side after helping us extend our unbeaten run to 11 games in all competitions and keep our seventh clean sheet in our last nine matches.

‘We created a few chances and it’s obviously disappointing to come away with a draw but they’re a very good side and now we move on to the next game,’ said the 20-year-old. ‘We had a clean sheet so it’s still all around a positive performance for the team.’

Some saw Sunday’s clash at the Bridge as an audition for the two teams’ title credentials, with both starting the day inside the top three in the Premier League table, but James says Chelsea’s chances of competing for honours this season will be decided by hard work in the months ahead.

‘At the end of the day the aim of the team is to win the league and I think we’ve got every chance. That’s the goal but we have to keep working and keep pushing and getting better as a team.’

While this match was lacking the usual derby atmosphere with no supporters present due to Covid-19 restrictions, it will hopefully be the last time we see Chelsea playing in an empty Stamford Bridge. Fans are set to return for our next Premier League fixture, when we host Leeds United on Saturday, and our right-back cannot wait to feel their backing in the stadium again.

‘When the fans return to Stamford Bridge they’ll bring a great atmosphere and boost the players as well and hopefully help us fight.’

Premier League top six

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