Chelsea keeper Petr Cech has challenged his team-mates to prove they have recovered from the disappointment of their FA Cup semi-final defeat against Manchester City when they return to Premier League action against Fulham on Wednesday.
Cech has warned the hangover from Sunday’s Wembley defeat needs to be banished if Chelsea are to cement their position in the top-four of the Premier League.
“For us, the disappointment of losing the semi-final against City will be a factor, and we need to make sure we are over that,” Cech told the Chelsea website, chelseafc.com.
“It’s a derby game, a huge game anyway, and if they win they know they are safe from relegation and can then play without pressure. It’s a tough fixture for us, it always has been.
“They often raise their game at Craven Cottage, especially against us. We never find it easy to play there, but the pressure is on us now and we need to win our games to make it easier to qualify for the Champions League.”
Cech is set to make his 423rd appearance in the Fulham match, and after moving ahead of Blues legends Steve Clarke (421 appearances) and Kerry Dixon (420 appearances) in the club’s all-time charts, he is targeting more success in the remaining weeks of this season.
“I am pleased I am getting numbers under the belt which puts me among those fantastic players,” he added. “When I got past Gianfranco Zola as the top foreign appearance maker, one of the best players ever at the club, it was a great achievement, and now I have over 400 and am climbing the ranking.
“I am pleased to have played so many, because it shows I have been the number one choice and have kept my place in the team in one of the best clubs in the world.
“It is an honour to play so many games for this club, but these statistics are not as important as the team being successful and that is what we all want in the final few weeks of the season.”