Gary Cahill believes yesterday’s victory at the Stadium of Light was testament to the strength of character within the squad. For the second consecutive game we had to recover from going a goal down early in the match to emerge triumphant, and last night’s 4-3 thriller in Sunderland was our third league success on the road this season.
It was the second win in a row away from Stamford Bridge, following the 3-0 triumph at West Ham nearly two weeks ago. Cahill hopes the resoluteness we have displayed of late on our travels extends to Saturday’s trip to Stoke, and beyond.
‘I don’t worry too much about our away form,’ the defender said.
‘It’s something that we have spoken about before and it’s something that we have looked to address. Our home form has been so good and if we can do the same away as we have done at home then it will be great.
‘We went behind again yesterday early on and it’s not ideal, but again we showed character. It was a tough game, especially after Sunday, but it’s all about trying to win games and we did that in the end, so we’re pleased.’
Cahill admits to being as surprised as his manager at our shortcomings defending dead balls yesterday, but was grateful to a team-mate renowned for his abilities further up the field for ensuring the three goals we conceded did not prove costly.
‘If you take away the set-pieces, which we know is a huge part of the game, we limited Sunderland to few chances and defended well. It was unlike us because we’ve done alright with set-pieces this season.
‘Eden [Hazard] was unplayable, creating and scoring goals,’ Cahill stressed. ‘He was absolutely fantastic and when he is playing like that there are very few better than him. He was the full package.’
The win on Wearside keeps us four points behind league leaders Arsenal, and Cahill offered his assessment of an increasingly intriguing title race.
‘It’s very tight at the top. All we can do is keep trying to win. We did that on Sunday and yesterday we went away from home to a team that is fighting and made it very hard for us, but again we got the win.
‘Jose’s experience will definitely help us this season. I’ve won cup competitions but I’ve never won the league, and it’s one of my goals that I’m aiming to achieve.
‘We’ve got players that have won the league a few times. They’ve got a lot of experience to give the younger players like Eden, and we can all take confidence from them.’