Cech: Slump not behind us yet
Petr Cech claims Chelsea must win their next three matches before they can say their alarming slump is behind them. The past eight days have seen the Blues record back-to-back victories for the first time in more than two months, with a 7-0 FA Cup thrashing of Ipswich followed by a 2-0 Premier League win over Blackburn.
Saturday's victory prompted manager Carlo Ancelotti to challenge his players to win at Bolton next Monday to prove their miserable run was over. Goalkeeper Cech has gone further, insisting the champions need to extend their winning run into next month before they can forget about their worst sequence of league results in almost 15 years.
"It was extremely important that against Blackburn we managed to follow the performance from the Ipswich game," the 28-year-old told his official website. "From the beginning, you could see confidence in our play and we converted it into two goals and, thanks to a good defensive play with a thorough approach, we managed to claim the three points.
"Besides the outcome, we were satisfied mainly with our performance and with the way how we reached the win. However, this is just the first step we have made to end the bad streak of results. In order to be able to say, 'Okay, it's beyond us', we need to win four or five games in the style like against Blackburn."
That will not be easy, with Chelsea's next three matches all away from home, with Monday's trip to the Reebok Stadium followed by an FA Cup fourth-round clash at Everton and another league game at Sunderland. But the champions know points simply cannot be frittered away if they are to stand any chance of retaining their title, with unbeaten Manchester United seven ahead with a game in hand.
The gap will be ten by the time Chelsea next play if United win this weekend. And Cech is determined to make the most of the mini-break before a potential fixture pile-up between now and the end of the season.
"The rest of the week, we are to be in intense training as this is one of the last, if not the very last, so-called long weeks in the season," he said. "This will allow us to train and prepare properly and be the best possible for the busy schedule of the rest of the season."