Gary Cahill, part of the defence that kept a clean sheet against Fulham at the weekend as Chelsea took all three points from the London derby, spoke afterwards about squad strength and the positive effect that has.
The Blues returned to winning ways after defeats at Everton and at home to Basel and the central defender, who also played in the opening two wins over Hull and Aston Villa, as well as the draw at Man United, thought he and his colleagues moved back up towards that level on Saturday, although it took a while.
‘We looked a bit tentative first half but the second half we created a lot more chances, put Fulham on the back foot and we looked a better side,’ Cahill said. ‘It was much more like us and that is why we got our joy.
‘The second half was how we should be playing at home. It takes time when new players come in but we have a great squad now, a proven manager and I am sure we will do well.
‘Training has been very sharp and in pre-season it was very sharp as well,’ added the 27-year-old.
‘At the start of the season I thought we were playing some great stuff but it does take time because we have players needing to adapt to the league and to adapt to being here.
‘Two dodgy results back to back got everyone talking. When you are a big team and you lose two games it gets talked about as a crisis. It was not ideal but we didn’t feel that way.’
Cahill confirmed that with the players and coaches having already discussed the midweek Champions League defeat, the final training before the Fulham game was the ‘fun session’ Jose Mourinho described in his pre-match press conference.
‘There is expectation [about results] from the players as well as the manager and the players were not happy, so it was important to lighten the mood,’ Cahill said, as well as describing a group of footballers kept on their toes.
‘There is competition for places with world-class players in all positions, and everyone is aware of the squad we have. So we know that if we play poorly we will surely be out the team.
‘That is healthy and we do play many games so having a good squad is important. No one is complacent and that is a good thing.’