Fabregas: We have to perform

Cesc Fabregas says the fact we have a team full of winners will ensure we improve upon the way in which we have started the campaign, starting against Porto in the Champions League tomorrow.

The Blues take on Jose Mourinho’s former club – and leaders of the Portuguese top flight – at the Estadio do Dragao, looking to make it two wins from two in this season’s competition.

Our weekend performance at Newcastle was a tale of two halves, with the Blues brilliant after the break having struggled to get going in the first half, and Fabregas hopes we can replicate the form which allowed us to claw back a two-goal deficit on Tyneside here in Portugal.

‘We want to play as we did in the second half,’ he said. ‘It was a good performance but I believe we can play better, we did it for most of last season. What we cannot accept is the first-half performance.

‘When you play for Chelsea you always want to win, it’s normal for the club. Every club wants to win the Champions League and so do we.’

Fabregas, who scored his first goal of the season in our Matchday 1 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv a fortnight ago, believes now is the time for the team to start showing our quality on a more consistent basis.

‘It’s not good enough, we know we can do better and we will do, but we have to start from now,’ he explained.

‘It’s the beginning of the season and we know it’s not about how it starts, but how it ends. When you are Chelsea and when you play for a big club you have to compete to your maximum in every game. You don’t just need to be good technically or tactically, you need to be mentally strong and going into every training session with a special dedication.

‘That’s why this club signed us, why we play for a big club. We have to start showing it on the pitch, starting from tomorrow because it’s a big game and we want to do well.

‘We have to improve and it’s not because of the coach telling us things or him being upset that we have to perform, we have to perform because we are winners and we play for Chelsea. It has to come from us; we are not babies, we are not players who have only just started playing. Yes, we are a young squad, but that’s not an excuse, we won the league last season and there is no reason why we cannot do it again this year. We have to start performing from now.’

The Spanish midfielder who, if selected tomorrow, will make his 97th Champions League appearance, responded to the suggestion that the manner of our title success last season has led to complacency creeping in.

‘It wasn’t easy, trust me,’ he replied. ‘We worked really hard for it and there were difficult moments. This team works well and the manager would never allow us to be complacent. We are training well and we are motivated.

‘Maybe things aren’t going the way we would want at the moment but I’m sure we will turn it around. Tomorrow is a great moment and a great scenario in which to do it; the Champions League, away from home, everyone is watching us.

‘If we want to start playing as well as we did last season we have to start performing in big games like tomorrow.’

Diego Costa, currently serving a three-match domestic suspension, is eligible to play against Porto and has travelled with the group.

Fabregas feels we will need the striker at the top of his game if we want to go all the way in the competition.

‘He’s frustrated and rightly so,’ Fabregas responded, when asked about the striker’s current mood.

‘We all know the causes why he is, some people understand, some don’t. It’s very unfair what happened to him.

‘Apart from that he’s a key player for us, he has to score goals and finish our combinations and attacks. We expect a lot from him. Obviously if you want to win this competition you need your big players to perform and for sure he’s one of them.’