Kalou targets Chelsea "turning point"
Salomon Kalou feels Chelsea can use their UEFA Champions League tie against Copenhagen as a "turning point" to finish the campaign in style. The Blues look set to reach the quarter-finals of Europe's elite club competition once again when they take a 2-0 lead into Wednesday night's second leg at Stamford Bridge.
The win in Denmark last month provided a much-needed confidence boost for Carlo Ancelotti's men after defeat to Liverpool, a goalless draw at west-London rivals Fulham and then crashing out of the FA Cup at home to Everton. Indeed, since then, Chelsea have also beaten Manchester United to help keep the Premier League title race open, while closing the gap at the top by beating Blackpool 3-1 at Bloomfield Road last week.
Ivory Coast striker Kalou believes momentum will be important if the Blues are to salvage something from the campaign, now nine points off the pace but with a match in hand ahead of their clash against top-four rivals Manchester City on Sunday.
"Copenhagen can be the turning point, because going away and winning 2-0 is a great result," Kalou told www.UEFA.com. "Now we have the second leg at home and we will try to make it good by winning again, then we can prepare for the next round peacefully.
"However, a football match is never done, you play 90 minutes, so we have to be focused on that. If they reach this stage of the competition it means they're a good team, so we have to have respect for them and play our usual game."
Kalou feels having the European Cup final in London can only add extra incentive for Chelsea to continue their progress, with Tottenham also now in the last eight while Arsenal crashed out to Barcelona. "We have played so many times at Wembley, it would be like a home game," he said.
"Imagine playing a Champions League final at home - that would be the best scenario ever. We are motivated, we know it is a long journey to get there, but we will take it game by game. It is very important to be focused, that is the only way we can get to the final."
Ancelotti may find his own future the subject of continued speculation - with both former bosses Guus Hiddink and Jose Mourinho at the top of the bookmakers list should owner Roman Abramovich decide to make a change in the summer - but the Chelsea staff and players remain fully focused on the targets ahead.
Captain John Terry has already declared there is no intention of giving up the fight for the championship, with another clash against United set to come at Old Trafford on 7 May. While Chelsea's hopes of retaining the title appear slim, they would certainly be boosted were £50m striker Fernando Torres to find his scoring touch again.
The Spaniard has yet to get off the mark after his January move from Liverpool, with suggestions of formation trouble and even homesickness touted as possible reason's for his lack of cutting edge in front of goal.
Former Blues striker Kerry Dixon, though, has no doubts the team will soon see the best of their big-money signing. "Torres' movement in the games has been excellent and his link-up play has got better and better," Dixon said on Chelsea TV. "It is only a matter of time before the goals will come - and if Torres was to get goals on a regular basis towards the end of the season, then the momentum grows."