Malang Sarr insists the Blues remain confident ahead of our game at Southampton despite a couple of recent setbacks, and the defender has underlined the significance of today’s test on the South Coast in the battle for a top four spot.

Chelsea remain in a commanding position to finish in a Champions League berth despite the loss to Brentford a week ago. At the start of this weekend we are five points ahead of fifth-place Arsenal, and a seventh consecutive win on the road in all competitions would serve as a major boost in the right direction ahead of consecutive cup games.

‘This game is going to be crucial for us because if you look behind teams are coming close and we know that,’ said Sarr.

‘We just need to do a great performance together and find a way to win the game because these last games are going to be really difficult. The end of the season is going to be really stressful if we don’t win this one. We just need to take game after game, and play well.

‘Chelsea is a club that know how to win and this group as well so I think there is a lot of confidence because everyone knows we can do it, but we need to put in the work,’ added the 23-year-old.

‘We must just put our mind on the task and do whatever we need to do. I think that’s the point - just be ready for that and work hard.’

Sarr is hoping to get his first match action since the international break having featured more often than not in 2022.

In his first season at Chelsea he has been able to learn plenty from the more experienced defenders around him, and there is one man in particular who stands out when he considers his own development this season.

‘Since before I was at Chelsea, back at Nice, I was looking up to Thiago Silva when he was playing for Milan and PSG,’ Sarr reveals.

‘He has been an example to me. Seeing him you know what you have to do to be this age and at this level: all the things you have to do outside the pitch.

‘It’s not easy to do it because you have to be focused all the time, but if you want to be there that’s what you have to do. It’s just inspiring.’