John Terry considers our first-half showing yesterday to have been our finest of the season so far, and our skipper hopes we can maintain that level of performance when we travel to Southampton in two days’ time.
In his assessment of the match as a whole, the skipper pinpointed one facet of our game that he believed was instrumental to the success, our second home win in four days seeing us climb to third in the table.
‘I think the first half was the best we’ve played all season actually; the pressing was spot on, as were the tactics from the manager,’ said Terry.
‘The tempo was excellent and it’s good to do that in front of our home fans as well. Hopefully we can continue that as it’s been coming. We’ve been playing okay but feeling like we’ve got a little bit more to give and I thought we did that in this game.’
Terry was imperious at the back on his 600th appearance for the club, helping shackle the considerable threat posed by Luis Suarez throughout. A fiercely-contested clash saw both sides have penalty appeals waved away, including when Terry tangled with the Uruguayan in the second half. Our captain offered his opinion on some of the game’s big decisions.
‘My one was not [a penalty], they’re saying maybe the other one, but we could have had one at the other end as well. Throughout the season you’re going to get some and you’re not going to get some in the big games, but I thought the ref was good for both sides. In big games it’s important to let both teams play.’
At a busy time of the year like this, Terry was quick to acknowledge how the whole squad, irrespective of age or playing time, can be instrumental in helping the cause as the games rack up.
‘The manager has been asking for togetherness from everyone. Whether you play or you are on the bench, everyone’s got a part to play. When the guys are not playing it’s important they maintain their fitness and their sharpness.
‘The older boys in the squad have still got a lot to give, too. We see that every week. There is new talent coming through the squad and one day it will come to an end – we all realise that – but it certainly won’t be for the want of trying from us, trying to keep our place in the team.’
Wednesday’s trip to the South Coast comes exactly a month after we played Southampton on home turf, and though that result eventually went our way, the test the Saints posed that day, and indeed have done throughout the season, means Terry and his team-mates are well aware of the challenge they face as we seek a third consecutive league victory.
‘It’s going to be tough because they’re very good at home and it proved a difficult game here when they scored pretty early,’ Terry pointed out.
‘They are a good footballing side, very much like Liverpool, who try and play out from the back so we’re expecting a tough game. Man United and Man City have gone on good runs and it’s important over this period that we do the same.’