Petr Cech has stressed the importance of securing our first win of this season’s Champions League when we take on FC Nordsjaelland in Copenhagen tomorrow night.
The Blues head into the game as big favourites, but having let a two-goal lead slip in our opening game against Juventus a fortnight ago, there is now no margin for error.
Our opponents – who were beaten 2-0 by Shakhtar Donetsk two weeks ago – are enjoying their first spell in Europe’s elite competition, but Cech is adamant we will not be underestimating the Danish champions.
If you are interested in a players rewards card click here. ‘At the start of every campaign it’s important to get as many points as possible early on to qualify, then you can concentrate on the other games, that’s the ideal situation,’ said the Chelsea goalkeeper.
‘We will treat the game exactly the same as our last games. Whether it’s a final or not, you have to be ready if you want to win matches.
‘This is the Champions League, we take every opponent seriously. We want to win, that’s clear, we’ve done our homework, and we have an idea, but we want to put our own style on the game.’
The quarter-final first leg win away in Benfica last season was our only victory away from home over the course of what was ultimately a successful campaign.
Our three matches in the group stages – against Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen and Genk – saw us take the lead on every occasion, before eventually having to settle for either a point or, in the case of the German side, nothing at all.
Cech was at a loss to explain why we struggled so much on the road in the tournament, but takes heart from the fact that our fortunes took a positive turn when it really mattered.
‘It’s difficult to explain and find out why,’ he explained. ‘In the knockout stages we managed to shrug it off, which was the important part of our winning campaign.
‘In the group stages it wasn’t the case, but in the knockouts a lot of things changed, even the results away from home, and we would like to continue from there.’
Three wins in the space of a week domestically, including what could prove to be a pivotal result against Arsenal at the Emirates, ensures Roberto Di Matteo’s side head into the game full of confidence.
Cech admits that a camp high in spirits is of little surprise given our impressive start to the season, but with a fervent home crowd behind them, the game against Kasper Hjulmand’s men is likely to provide yet another tricky test.
‘I like coming here because of the passion,’ said the 31-year-old. ‘When we played Copenhagen [in 2011] it was an interesting game, the whole town was right behind the team and I expect the same.
‘It’s a huge event in the history of Nordsjaelland, that’s why we’re playing here at Parken Stadium, so more people can come, they will want to show that they can play football and they deserve to be here in the group stage.
‘With a great start the atmosphere is very good, but it’s only a start, the campaign is very long and nothing is secured. We are empty handed but enjoying the moment.
‘We have been doing well and getting the results we wanted, we are top of the league, which is a great position, but it’s early days.
‘Any victory will be good for us, but we know it won’t be easy. We’ve come for three points, we are the favourites for the group as reigning champions, and all we can do is play our game and hopefully get the result we want.’