Four months into his inaugural Premier League season, Oscar has proved an inspired acquisition, and the Brazilian is hopeful that tonight’s game against Fulham can see us build on a credible draw against Manchester City at the weekend.
Interim first team manager Rafael Benitez, who took charge for the first time against the champions on Sunday, will be looking to inspire his side to a first league win since the 4-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur last month, and while recent results have been far from impressive, Oscar, who has featured in all but one league game thus far, is determined to get our campaign back on track.
‘It’s great to play in local derbies,’ he tells the official Chelsea website. ‘It’s another important game, and we’ve had a lot of those in the last few weeks.
‘The draw against Manchester City at the weekend was a positive result, and now I’m hopeful we can follow that up with a win in order to stay near the top of the table. It’s crucial that from this point on we win as many matches as possible.
‘At Chelsea we are expected to win every game. We tried everything in order to get the three points against Manchester City, but it was a very tough game and while we were unfortunate not to get the win, it was important we didn’t lose and managed to keep a clean sheet.’
The two games against Martin Jol’s side last season ended in 1-1 draws, with the Blues having taken the lead on both occasions, and tonight’s encounter promises to be just as tight.
The Cottagers have lost their previous two matches – against Stoke City and Sunderland – but prior to that went five unbeaten, and with an attack-minded set-up designed to get the best out of Dimitar Berbatov, Oscar believes this could be the match where our fortunes change.
‘It’s better for us that they like to attack because it will mean that there should be more spaces for us to exploit,’ he explains.
‘It makes it far more difficult for us when teams just come to Stamford Bridge and have the whole side defending behind the ball, because we have nowhere to go.
‘I hope they come at us, it will make the game more open and hopefully enable us to get a win which we so badly need at the moment, particularly in front of our own supporters.’