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Feb 3, 2009

Cech: Chelsea need to keep clean sheets

Chelsea keeper Petr Cech says the team's inability to keep a clean sheet is now affecting their confidence.

The Blues had one of the best defensive records in the first half of the season, but have now only kept just one clean sheet in their last eight outings in all competitions and have had to watch as rivals Manchester United recorded an astonishing 12 Premier League clean sheets in a row.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's side nearly mustered a goalless draw against title rivals Liverpool with 10 men on Sunday before conceding the game following Fernando Torres' late brace.

Cech insists Chelsea need to grind out victories while hoping the leading duo drop points between now and the summer if they are to get back in the title race.

''Whether it's our concentration or not I don't know, but we need to sort it out,'' said Cech. ''At the start of the season we were getting a lot of clean sheets. Then in December we had a run where we didn't.

''You can have a great game and still allow the opposition to score. That's what we're doing and it makes everything a lot more difficult.

''When you're not conceding goals for so long, it gives you a massive boost to know one goal will get you three points.

''All we can do now is keep winning, so if Liverpool or United drop points we can close the gap. That is the only way for us now. It's not in our hands, it's in United's.''

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