Azpilicueta targets cup success
Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta insists his side will go all out to bring home silverware this season as they face a key week of knockout competition with the first leg of the Europa League clash at Sparta Prague followed by the FA Cup fourth-round replay with Brentford.
The current European champions were knocked out of the group stages of the Champions League, but now face a Europa League last-32 tie in Prague on Thursday night.
"We want to play every few days because it means we are still in competitions," Azpilicueta told the club's official website. "It is very important for the team to keep going in the Europa League and the FA Cup.
"It is true the Europa League is not the same as the Champions League because that is the top but the Europa League is a big competition, an important competition, and now we have the chance to win it. Never in the history of Chelsea have we won this cup and we are going to try to do it."
Meanwhile, Sparta Prague goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik believes his side can frustrate the Blues and extend their unbeaten European home record to 12 matches.
The hosts are underdogs, but are confident, having last lost at their Letna Stadium home against MSK Zilina in the 2010-11 Europa League play-offs, while Chelsea have one win in five matches.
"I believe we will add one more match to that run and travel to London with a result that keeps our chances alive,'' Vaclik told UEFA.com. "To succeed, we'll have to play our best football. Even if Chelsea are not having their best period right now, they have the winning mentality of a big club and self-confidence.''