After starting three consecutive Chelsea matches for the first time since the opening weeks of the season, Pedro discusses our targets for the final three months of the campaign and recovering form at home in the build-up to our London derby against Tottenham this Saturday lunchtime…
The Blues have won one, drawn one and lost one of those past three games, most recently suffering defeat against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Monday night. It was a frustrating evening for Frank Lampard’s side, not least due to a series of VAR decisions going against the hosts, with the result continuing our difficult league form in SW6 this term.
After 12 years at the top of the game with Barcelona and Chelsea, Pedro knows all about the ups and downs of football and the Spaniard has urged his team-mates to battle through a challenging period by focusing on the tasks ahead.
‘It was a difficult moment for us,’ he admitted. ‘When you lose this kind of game, it’s always difficult but the most important thing is to think about the next game against Tottenham. It’s a derby and another opportunity to feel well inside the pitch, to get confidence and to get the three points.
Chelsea vs Tottenham: the stats
‘We need to improve but more with the results at home because it’s a problem for us. In so many games, we have lost points at home.
‘During the game, the performance of the team is good and we’re in a good condition but it doesn’t show in the result. This is the main problem for us and we need to improve, to fight like a big team and recover a lot of points at home.’
The Blues are 12th in the league table based on home form alone but Pedro concedes it has been hard for the group to pinpoint precisely why our performances and results have differed so much at Stamford Bridge compared to on the road; only Liverpool and Manchester City have collected more points than Lampard’s men away from home.
‘I don’t know why but it’s a serious problem because it’s our stadium and our supporters,’ Pedro said. ‘It’s very difficult when you lose points at home because it’s so important for the league if you want to reach the top four.’
As one of the more senior players in the squad, Pedro has had the opportunity this season to pass on his vast experience to some of his younger team-mates who are emerging into the Stamford Bridge spotlight. While there may be bumps in the road along the way, the 32-year-old believes the club are laying the foundations for an exciting future.
‘It was difficult in pre-season to sign players for this year so we had the young players come in like [Fikayo] Tomori, Tammy [Abraham], Mason [Mount],’ he continued. ‘It’s good for the club and for the future because they are very good players with a good level.
‘At the moment, we are building a new team with a good coach like Frank and this is good for our future in the next couple of years.’
The more immediate focus in the Premier League is on securing Champions League qualification for next season and a victory over Spurs today will be a major boost in our ambitions on that front, although Pedro acknowledges every game between now and the end of the season will take on increased significance given the competitive fight for European places.
‘It’s important we don’t lose because you can maybe drop to sixth or seventh in the table, which would be a big problem for us to reach the top four,’ he added. ‘The most important thing is to prepare well throughout the week so we can recover our best performance and condition. We have to fight as a team to score goals, to defend very well and very compact.
‘We know it’s a derby so it’s a massive game for us. Tottenham may have [Harry] Kane and Son [Heung-min] who cannot play and they are special players for them but they are still a good team and it will be difficult for us.
‘The most important thing is not to think about Tottenham, it’s only about us and our team. The spirit is good and it’s another opportunity in front of our supporters at Stamford Bridge to recover our form and compete well. We must fight for everything in every game.
‘It’s so important for the teams to play in the Champions League and it’s a big target for us this season. We have three months now to play every game like a final so we can reach the top four.’
Read our pre-match briefing ahead of today's game