BY PAUL LAGAN at Cardiff
Cesar Azpilicueta believes that everyone – players and fans – have to pull together if the Blues are to realise their objective of finishing in the top four of the Premier League.
Large sections of the travelling support were calling for head coach Maurizio Sarri to be sacked following the team’s insipid performance in their fortunate 2-1 win at Cardiff City on Sunday.
Skipper Azpilicueta, who could not hide his smile at scoring the equaliser while two yards offside, is appealing for unity ahead of Wednesday night’s league match against Brighton at Stamford Bridge.
He said: “I know the fans want us to win and when the results are not there, we are all responsible.
“They showed their thoughts, but our job is to keep working hard. We showed great spirit in the last 10 minutes because that is only the second time we have come from behind to win, both times have been against Cardiff. Now we have two massive games at home where we have to take all six points.
“We have to give them [the fans] what they expect as well.
“Obviously in the bad moments we have to be all together. We are the first ones to not be happy with the way we are playing.
“In the last couple of games we have lost a lot of points, especially away from home. We know and I feel that we are all in the same boat and we [need to] push in the same direction.
“On Wednesday, starting from the first minute, we have to create an atmosphere on the pitch. I know the fans will be behind us, but we have to give them fighting spirit, great football, scoring goals, fight for the targets.
“It’s what they want, it’s what we want and we have to go in the same direction.”
Chelsea are sixth but just one point away from fourth-place Spurs – they can’t afford any more slip-ups.
The Spain defender agrees. “It changes so quickly,” he said.
“If we’d won the two games before the international break we could have been in third position and with some points in front of the other teams, but we didn’t take our chance.
“Against Cardiff, we did what we had to do to take the three points to be closer to the top four.
“We have to go game by game. It’s important to do that. But we are able [to win all seven remaining matches].
“We have to always look to the best. Starting on Wednesday we have to be focused to get points. The next two matches are in the Premier League and then we are in the Europa League.
“I think we have eight weeks until the end of the season where we can achieve the targets. “But we need to improve on what we have been doing in the last couple of games to get the results.”