Oriol Romeu’s satisfaction at completing his first full 90 minutes in the league this season was tempered by our inability to strike a decisive blow in last night’s stalemate against Fulham.
The Spanish midfielder, having featured as a late substitute on Sunday against Manchester City, was handed a start by Rafael Benitez for the west London derby, playing alongside Ramires as one of the two deep-lying midfielders, with John Mikel Obi dropping down to the bench.
Romeu was understandably pleased with his performance on a personal level, but acknowledged that the collective disappointment at missing out on securing three points dampened his spirits.
‘I was happy to be involved for the whole game, but the main thing I want is for the team to win, which we didn’t,’ Romeu tells the official Chelsea website. ‘We didn’t concede a goal, which was positive, but a club like Chelsea should always be focused on winning the game, so it was disappointing.
‘Every player needs to be ready when a chance comes along. Obviously it’s not as easy as you would like when you haven’t been playing regularly, but it’s just about going out there and playing football in the way you always have done.’
It was roughly at this time a year ago when the 21-year-old first forced his way into the side – at the time under the stewardship of Andre Villas-Boas – and instantly caught the eye with his tough-tackling in midfield and ability to retain possession.
Romeu was an integral part of the side as the Blues enjoyed a decent run leading up to the festive period, with crucial wins against the likes of Newcastle United, Manchester City and Valencia, before his involvement was curtailed after he sustained an injury.
He is hopeful, however, that this December – injuries permitting – will follow a similar pattern.
‘That’s what I want, and hopefully this time around I won’t get any injuries so that I can keep playing throughout the months ahead,’ he explains.
‘I always try to train hard and stay fit, but the main thing when you have an opportunity is to play well in order to help the team.’
Our fifth successive draw against Fulham means we are now without a win in the league since last month’s 4-2 win against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
On Saturday we face another London derby, this time when we take on West Ham United at Upton Park, and Romeu believes it’s imperative we make our quality in the final third shine through if we harbour any realistic ambitions of remaining in the title hunt.
‘Once you are solid at the back the quality in attack has to come through,’ he says. ‘It hasn’t happened for the last two games but I’m sure with the players we have the goals will start to come again.
‘This part of our game has to improve, but you also know that if you are not conceding any goals, you only have to score one to get the three points, and that’s the most important thing.’
You can hear more from Romeu in an exclusive post-match interview with Chelsea TV via the channel’s online access.