Left to reflect on another disappointing home defeat, Cesar Azpilicueta acknowledged the need to quickly reassert our authority at Stamford Bridge if we are to finish in the top four.
The skipper, like his boss Frank Lampard, believes teams are coming to SW6 holding no fear because of our recent home results against teams struggling towards the bottom of the table. Yesterday’s defeat to Southampton was a case in point, as we struggled to break down our South Coast opposition who defended their box admirably and took their chances when they came.
‘We haven’t managed to score or win in the last couple of home games, and it’s a big issue if we want to keep the consistency and stay where we want to be,’ Azpilicueta assessed.
‘The fans want us to perform and get results and we are not giving them that. It’s true at home we face teams who sometimes sit back, more than when they play at home and we can find more space. But it’s up to us to find a way.
‘In the first half we shot once on target. In the second half we got the ball in the box, we went past a defender, but we didn’t find the man in the box, or we didn’t create the chance to get a goal. We are putting ourselves in difficulty.
‘It’s up to us to find always the consistency, the level to play home or away, against any team. We know every game in the Premier League is very tough. When teams see you are losing points at home they come with more confidence. We have to recover this respect at home.’
In the short term, it’s back-to-back away games for Azpilicueta and Chelsea. First up is a trip to the Emirates on Sunday, when we’ll be seeking to channel the kind of performance that proved so effective in our last fixture on the road, at Tottenham.
‘When you lose a game you want to bounce back as quickly as possible. We have to find a way to do so in two days’ time. We have to react, but I have to be clear, we can’t be the whole season up down, up down.
‘It’s key in the second half of the season we recover our consistency, the solidity at home, and to keep growing as a team.’