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Jan 20, 2011

Drogba: Chelsea need consecutive wins

Didier Drogba has spoken about Chelsea's dire form, and says that right now all they are looking to do is win two games back-to-back rather than get back into the title race.

• Abramovich fears financial rules
• Lampard fitness fears

Chelsea's hopes of keeping hold of their Premier League crown are slim as they trail Manchester United by seven points and have played a game more, while they have won only two of their last ten fixtures in the league.

Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Drogba said: "Instead of thinking about winning the title, we should think about winning two consecutive games. Then we'll see. It's not a joke, it's true.

"We have to think about winning two consecutive games. That's being realistic and it shows how badly we've been doing for the last month and a half. It's something that has to change and we're not far from that.

"Now everybody is coming back from injuries it is going to help us. When you don't win games, yeah, you lose confidence. The only way to get back your confidence and be able to say we can still win the league would be to win two or three consecutive games.

"We've had a lot of injured players and the team has changed from last year. We lost five great players in Michael Ballack, Juliano Belletti, Deco, Ricardo Carvalho and Joe Cole.

"We replaced them with young players like Jeffrey Bruma, Gael Kakuta, Josh McEachran and Patrick van Aanholt. They are good players but need time to adapt."

Chelsea began the season on fire, firing six goals past both West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic in their opening two fixtures. But their free-scoring ways are now a thing of the past, while Drogba himself conceded that his form must improve.

Drogba continued: ''What happened is just that the season is very long. I said during that time that maybe some difficult moments would come, so we'd have to be sure that these moments wouldn't be long. Unfortunately, it's longer than what we thought it would be.

''I've had malaria and surgery before the beginning of the season for my hernia to make sure I'll be okay for the next few years. I won't say I'm happy because we're having a difficult moment, but when you look at the amount of games I've played and the number of goals and assists I've had, I know it's not the best, but it's not bad.

''I can continue to improve that. I'm not worried about my performance. What is really important for me is for the team to go back to the winning way. If we win the league and I score only ten goals, for me it's fine."

Drogba is still overcoming the affects of that malaria problem, which was initially diagnosed as 'flu.

''It was really bad, so bad that it lasted two months,'' he added. ''It should be something that could be solved in a few weeks. At first the tests didn't show that it was malaria. The doctor thought it was 'flu, so that's why we lost time.

''While we thought it was 'flu I was playing, because for me I can handle 'flu. I lost fitness, but I was working hard and trying to help the team. For me to be playing now, it's already a good start because it was a difficult moment for me to have malaria. Very difficult.''

Drogba also played down the effect of the departure of Ray Wilkins, who was effectively sacked as the club's assistant manager in November.

"He was part of the team for a bit more than two years. But even when he was there we lost some games,'' Drogba explained. ''Last year we had a bad moment as well when he was there. I think it's not about Ray leaving the club. It's about the players not being able to play at their best, including me. For sure we'll win a lot of games and lose some games, but it's not an individual that would make a big difference like this in our results. I think it's collective, the team.''

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