John Terry believes a good run of form now will see us return to the Champions League next season.
A busy schedule sees us play West Ham this afternoon at Stamford Bridge off the back of Europa League and FA Cup action, followed by four games in nine days off the back of the international break that comes after today’s game.
With so many games, Terry expects Rafael Benitez to continue rotating his squad and has demanded a hunger from the group.
‘There is a build-up of games but we have the squad and it’s down to us to remain focused and stay ready for the team,’ the captain said.
‘I’ve not played in as many games as I’d have liked but it’s important I train and remain fully focused so that when I do get a chance I’m fit and ready to go for the team. It’s the same for everyone.
‘There will be players upset at not playing but there are an awful lot of games coming up and we must remain focused.
‘I’ll do anything for this club. Players are here to win things, we all want to. We must give these fans something to cheer for and fight for. We’re still in the FA Cup, we’ve not got a chance of the league but we’ll fight for the Champions League spot because we know how much it means.
‘Managers will come and go, players will come and go but the one thing that remains are the fans and we need to cement what Chelsea Football Club is about year after year. When we sign new players we have to show that winning and fighting for trophies is a must year after year.’
Grit and determination have been demonstrated in our last two outings, coming from behind against Manchester United and Steaua Bucharest to earn positive results.
‘We’ve not been playing too well all season, Terry conceded. ‘We’ve had spells up and down, and we know we have another level to go to. We’re encouraged that we could put on a good run, put on some good form and pick up some points and catch the teams above us. That’s the target for the Champions League next year which is a must for this club.
‘Man United showed they were the better side against us in the first half but second half we showed we were much the better side. Our focus is not so much on them, it’s the teams closer above us. We have a big derby at the weekend and aim to pick up wins and keep putting on the pressure. We have to wait for other teams to slip up but if you make it easy for them it takes the pressure off them to slip up in the first place.
‘We’re mentally strong and have dealt with ups and downs season after season here. We will always remain together. When you go 2-0 down at Man United you see the team spirit. Nine times out of 10 teams will chuck the towel in but we got together and went for it. David Luiz was excellent and took the game by the scruff of the neck. That’s what you want to see.’
Sunday’s pre-match show is exclusively free to view on Chelsea TV, so make sure you tune in from 3pm.
The show will include manager and player interviews, pre-match build-up from around the Bridge and highlights from yesterday’s Under-18 game against Everton.