Conor Gallagher insists Chelsea’s frustrating start to the season hasn’t diminished his optimism for what this Blues side can achieve in 2023/24, or his ambition of targeting a top-four finish.
Having first trained with the Chelsea Academy at the age of six, Conor Gallagher is one of the relatively small number of players in the new-look Blues squad who have been at the club since before the start of last season.
While he admits it hasn’t been the start to the campaign he and his youthful team-mates were hoping for – two wins, two draws and two defeats in our opening six games in all competitions – he remains enthusiastic about our prospects once the new additions settle at Stamford Bridge and gain Premier League experience.
‘Chelsea have brought some massive talent this season and we’re very grateful to have them at the club,’ said Gallagher. ‘The glass is half full. It’s a process right now with a lot of new players and a lot of young players. We’re still gelling.’
That doesn’t mean he is ignoring the areas where we need to improve, though, primarily in converting our chances into goals and performances into Premier League points, starting on Sunday when we host Aston Villa in that competition, and it is something he is focused on rectifying, both as a team and an individual.
‘We’re performing well until we get into the final third, where we need to be more ruthless. But we’re still confident as a team, confident we’re going to improve, and confident we’re going to get more wins as well.
‘It’s one of them where we’re not being clinical and ruthless enough in the final third, and a little bit of luck as well. We’ve been doing a lot of work on it in training this week, so over time it will come. We’re creating enough chances in games to score more goals.
‘Every team we play in the Premier League is a tough game. We’ve dominated the ball in every game this season, but of course that’s not what matters. What matters is who scores more goals, and we’ve not been able to do that well enough, but we’re working on it and we will improve.
‘Part of my game is getting into the box and trying to score goals. I want to score more goals this season. The manager has a really good way of playing, and he lets the midfield be fluid and rotate. He plays to our advantages which helps me.’
Of course, in order to score more goals, Gallagher needs to ensure he continues to feature regularly, something he knows is no easy task given the strength of the options available to Mauricio Pochettino in midfield this season.
‘It’s healthy competition,’ he added. ‘Chelsea is a massive club and there’s always going to be competition for positions, and there’s a lot of top-class players in the midfield positions, so I will just keep working my hardest to keep playing well and to keep my spot in the team.’
With his optimism around the team’s chances of continuing to improve as the campaign goes on, plus his desire to make an increasing impact himself, it is no surprise that the 23-year-old refuses to lower his ambitions for this season.
‘The top four is the aim. We know we’re good enough. We have a lot of talent in our team to get to that position, and it’s just working hard in training and in games to play the right way, play with confidence, make the right decisions and play as a team. Over time we will keep improving and we will get more wins.’
Hopefully the first of those wins will arrive at around 3.45pm tomorrow, when the final whistle blows at Stamford Bridge to signal the end of our next Premier League fixture with Aston Villa.