Our Under-21s face a tough London derby away at Crystal Palace tonight, and manager Dermot Drummy is looking for a response from his team having seen them comfortably beaten at home by Liverpool just over a week ago.
After picking up four points from our first two matches of the season – against Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers – we suffered a rude awakening when the Merseysiders ran out 4-1 winners at Griffin Park.
In truth, it was probably a fair reflection given the way the game had panned out, but Drummy is hopeful his young players will have learnt from such a disappointing result.
‘It’s a learning curve for some of the players,’ he tells the official Chelsea website. ‘Giving the penalty away as we were trying to keep ourselves in the game gave Liverpool an advantage, so we’ll be looking to rectify that.
‘We switched off at a corner, people were given jobs at half time and they didn’t do their jobs.
‘We weren’t the better side; sometimes you get a draw or you nick a goal and get points you don’t deserve, but moments change games when it’s tight and hopefully they can learn from that.’
With both Rohan Ince and Conor Clifford back at the club following loan spells at Yeovil Town and Portsmouth respectively, competition for places in the weeks to come is sure to intensify, but having witnessed the impact losing influential players can bring, Drummy certainly won’t be complaining.
‘It showed with [Lucas] Piazon and [Lewis] Baker missing from our attack, we lacked a little bit, and the players are under pressure to perform to keep their places, just like the players in the first team have to do,’ he says.
Tonight’s game, which takes place at Selhurst Park, provides us with the perfect opportunity to revert back to winning ways, and while the Blues boss has complete faith in his side, he has seen enough of our opponents to know we will need to be at our very best to secure all three points.
‘I saw Palace play Liverpool, they lost 3-1 but they’re very powerful, very organised and their academy always produces top players,’ says Drummy.
‘They put you under a lot of pressure physically so it will be a very tough game, we have to go there with a tough mentality to get the points.’
Crystal Palace Under-21s v Chelsea takes place at Selhurst Park tonight, kick-off 7pm.
Tickets are available at the stadium priced at £8 for adults and £1 for juniors and seniors.