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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 15, 2009

Anelka desperate to find form after hat-trick

Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka claims he is "not happy'' with his form at the moment despite his hat-trick against Watford.

Anelka scored all three of Chelsea's goals as the Blues came from behind to triumph 3-1 and progress to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

That took the France forward's tally for the season to 20, while he is currently the Barclays Premier League's top scorer with 14.

However, Anelka insists he is not playing anywhere near his best.

"Despite the goals I'm not happy with my performance,'' he told L'Equipe. "I'm not happy with myself.

"What's important for me is to play well. And I haven't felt I've played well, even when I've scored.''

Under former coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, Anelka and Didier Drogba were rarely paired together.

Both started at Watford, however, and Anelka believes the Ivory Coast international could be key to his happiness.

"I would like to participate more in the game,'' he continued. "When you're all alone up front it's sometimes difficult.

"Didier and I showed that we can play together and score. The fact that I had Didier by my side changed the match. I had more freedom.''

Nicolas Anelka insists Chelsea's victory over Watford can become the turning point of their season.

"We have had a difficult period but we showed a lot of character,'' said Anelka. "The most important thing now is to win games.

"It is always difficult when you change the manager. We had a strange period when we had a lot of chances but could not score. But I hope we have reversed everything and now we will win a lot of games in the league.

"It was very hard, especially against a Championship side. They fight until the end of the game and that's what they did.

"But we deserved to win. We wanted to win. We knew we were capable of doing it. Obviously the new manager was in the stadium but it was good to come back in a winning way.

"In the last one or two months we have had a lot of chances but the ball didn't want to go in. We had a lot chances against Watford but when you stay focused and you have a lot of big players in the team, you know you can score.

"We have a big team, big players, and even when we were losing 1-0 we knew we had the capability to win the game.''

Chelsea now go to Aston Villa in the Premier League next weekend knowing that they must win to keep their title hopes alive.

Villa are third in the table and two points ahead of the Blues but Anelka is confident Chelsea can claim a crucial away success in Hiddink's first game in charge.

"The Aston Villa game next week is massive because they are in front of us,'' said Anelka.

"If we are still to be in chase for the Premier League we have win. We will go there to win. It is going to be tough but I think a lot of big players and we can do it.''

Hiddink watched from the stands at Vicarage Road and officially starts work with the squad tomorrow. It is something the Chelsea players are already excited about.

"We know him as a manager and what he has done before with a lot of teams,'' added Anelka. "We look forward to working with him.''

Anelka's treble, including two goals inside three minutes, was just the tonic for Chelsea after such a difficult week and Wilkins revealed how he had given the France international some quality time.

"I spoke to Nic on Friday because I know his preference is to play through the middle,'' said Wilkins.

"I sat down with him and explained that I wanted him to play as wide as he possibly could on the right-hand side. I wanted to get a response face-to-face and I was pleased with what I got.

"It has been a tough week for the club but I thought the attitude of the players was exceptional. I had no panic in me when we went a goal down. They have a dangerous will to win.

"I could see when they turned up in their collar and ties that they were ready for a rumble.''

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