Returning skipper John Terry helped us on our way to a much-needed 3-0 win at Fulham with a goal in each half, but the Blues defender stressed the importance of the victory far outweighed any personal glory.
Terry headed home from a Juan Mata cross three minutes before the break to give us a two-goal advantage after David Luiz had opened the scoring with a stunning strike, and the captain’s second – again with his head – late in the game all but sealed the win.
‘It was very important for us, we’ve been struggling away from home in the league, this has proved to be a tough place for us to come over the last couple of years, so we’re delighted to get the win and put ourselves back in the top three,’ he said.
‘They had a chance early on but apart from that I felt we dominated the game and dominated possession as well.
‘We looked very much in control, I think the two-goal cushion at half-time definitely helped. It was an unbelievable goal from David to get us going and then I scored just before half-time.
‘Juan said to me before the game that he was going to set me up and I was going to score, so it was nice to get on the end of his cross, and to get it just before half-time cemented the three points for us.’
The captain, who returned to the starting line-up having been an unused substitute against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday, doubled his tally with a close-range header late in the game, but admitted he felt sorry for Fernando Torres, whose initial header appeared to be going anyway.
‘At the time I felt quite bad so I said to Nando it was his goal,’ said Terry. ‘But after seeing the replay I think it was mine, so I apologise to Nando for that.’
The victory, our first away from home in the league since the 4-0 win at Stoke City in January, leaves us in a strong position with regards to qualifying for next season’s Champions League, one point ahead of Arsenal with a game in hand and three in front of Tottenham Hotspur.
With six games left to play, however, there is plenty of time for things to change, and with a difficult schedule ahead, including trips to Liverpool and Manchester United, as well as home games against Tottenham and Everton, Terry urged the squad to pull together.
‘There’s a lot of young guys who are going to be playing a lot of games every two or three days, so it’s important they stay fit and very much up for it, which I’m sure they will,’ he said.
‘With the experience we’ve got around the squad, the older players can obviously pass that down. We know we’ve all got a big part to play. Naturally everyone’s disappointed if they don’t play football matches, we all want to be on the field playing but unfortunately with a big squad that’s not always the case.
‘We’ve got a very hard run-in, we’re away to Liverpool at the weekend, which is always a very tough place to go, but this could maybe give us a bit of momentum, in the league especially.
‘We’ve got a lot of games coming up, and with players rotating and the manager changing the side it’s important that as a group and a squad we stick together, because there will be opportunities for everyone.’