Gary Cahill: Mood at Chelsea lightened
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has said there was a need to lift the gloom around the club ahead of Saturday’s Premier League home game against Fulham.
• Worrall: What crisis?
Back-to-back defeats against Everton and Basel had raised concerns just a few weeks into Jose Mourinho’s second spell as Chelsea boss. Cahill said they could not have afforded a third slip-up against the Cottagers -- and they won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
“There is expectation [about results] from the players as well as the manager, and the players were not happy so it was important to lighten the mood,” Cahill told Chelsea's official website.
“Two dodgy results back to back got everyone talking. When you are a big team and you lose two games, it gets talked about as a crisis. It was not ideal, but we didn't feel that way [that it constituted a crisis].
“At the start of the season, I thought we were playing some great stuff but it does take time because we have players needing to adapt to the league and to adapt to being here.
“We looked a bit tentative first half, but the second half we created a lot more chances, put Fulham on the back foot and looked a better side. It was much more like us and that is why we got our joy.”
Much of the debate before and after the game centred on Mourinho’s decision to omit Spain midfielder Juan Mata from his squad, but Cahill insisted the battle for places would be one of Chelsea's biggest assets this season.
“There is competition with world-class players in all positions, and everyone is aware of the squad we have,” he added. “So we know that, if we play poorly, we will surely be out of the team.
“That is healthy and we do play many games, so having a good squad is important. No one is complacent, and that is a good thing.”