Gary Cahill is hoping to be involved in this afternoon’s final public dress rehearsal at Brighton before next weekend’s Community Shield show at Villa Park.
The defender was a substitute for the final 30 minutes in our last outing against AC Milan in Miami a week ago, but is hoping to start on the south coast with a place in Sunday’s curtain-raiser against Manchester City at stake.
‘I don’t know what team the manager will pick, but the squad will more than likely be the one generally involved at the start of the season,’ Cahill said.
‘Everyone wants to play, to start, and show what they can do. I’m no different and there is a lot of competition. There will be times when players are rested with the amount of games we play, and there is depth, but you want to be the one in the big games, and hopefully I can play that part this season.’
The defender believes there is still work to do for the squad before we are ready for competition, and says this afternoon’s visit to Brighton, live on Chelsea TV, will be an important step along the way.
‘It’s a good gauge to see where we are at a week before the Community Shield and I think it will be a good game for us,’ said the 26-year-old.
‘We’ve looked okay so far but the manager will be looking for improvement for sure. It’s hard when you’re in pre-season with a big squad that has travelled on tour, and the manager is trying to give everyone game time to get fit. You’re making changes every two minutes to it is a bit false, but it was a good trip and we played some great opposition.
‘We all know we can improve come the start of the season but that’s what these friendly and tour games are about, brushing the cobwebs off and getting into a rhythm. You will make mistakes, but it’s better to do it in these games.’
Chelsea TV’s live coverage of this afternoon’s game begins at 2.30pm.