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Monday 21 April 2014

Terry urges Blues to kick on

John Terry's last-gasp goal gave Chelsea victory over Everton

John Terry believes Chelsea relish the packed end-of-season schedule and has called for the Blues to use Saturday's 1-0 defeat of Everton as a catalyst for a strong run.

Terry's last-gasp goal ensured a winning feeling for Chelsea as they travel to Istanbul on Wednesday to play Didier Drogba's Galatasaray in their Champions League last-16 first-leg tie, before a London derby with Fulham in the Barclays Premier League next weekend.

Jose Mourinho has continually downplayed Chelsea's title chances, but the Blues lead the standings ahead of their trip to Turkey and Terry is eager for further improvement.

"It's important for us now to kick on, especially with a busy period," the captain told Chelsea TV.

"When we play three games in a week I think it suits the lads.

"Everyone looks at it and thinks it might take its toll. But when you're playing three games a week you play, light training, play again and there's not much time to think.

"Hopefully that's the cobwebs gone (after the draw at West Brom and FA Cup loss to Manchester City) and we can kick on again."

Chelsea had to wait until stoppage time for Terry to convert Frank Lampard's free-kick against an Everton side the former England captain believes are a different proposition under Roberto Martinez, who succeeded David Moyes as boss last summer.

Terry added: "It wasn't our best performance, but we'll certainly take it. Maybe a draw was a fair result.

"They played quite well. You have to give them credit. Since Martinez has come in they've looked a whole new side.

"But we came away with three points. It was important we did that."

Chelsea have conceded twice in Terry's last nine appearances - the Blues conceded three in his three-game absence with a gluteal muscle strain - and the skipper believes Mourinho's methods are bearing fruit.

Terry said: "Maybe the year before we were a little bit open and everyone was gung-ho. We were left three or four at the back at times and overloaded.

"The manager's come in and reshaped us, reformed us, added a different dimension to the wide boys. Look at Eden (Hazard).

"Even though it looks good on the back four, it's a collective unit."

Chelsea are still unbeaten at home in the Premier League this term, extending Mourinho's overall record to 74 games.

Mourinho, whose first objective is Champions League qualification, says it is essential for Chelsea's challenge at the top of the table.

"Any objective you have, to have a good home record is important," Mourinho told Chelsea TV.

"We've lost four points at home - (drawing with) West Brom and West Ham - and if you can arrive at the end of the season without dropping many points at home, you have a better chance."

Chelsea travel to Istanbul with injury doubts over Oscar (ankle), David Luiz (hip/groin), Ramires and John Obi Mikel (both undisclosed), while Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are ineligible in European competition.

Everton are unburdened by European competition this term and slipped to seventh this weekend, level on 45 points with Manchester United, but with a game in hand on the defending champions.

Martinez feels aggrieved that Everton have not accumulated the points their performances have deserved after successive defeats in London, against Tottenham and Chelsea.

Martinez said: "We're in a position where probably we should have got more points than we have.

"We've been to Stamford Bridge and we got nothing. We went to White Hart Lane and we got nothing.

"Probably it's fair to say we were the better side on both occasions.

"For us it's important, more than getting points away from home, it's making sure the scoreline reflects the performance on the pitch."

The Spaniard is confident there is more to come from the Toffees this season and in future.

"I think this group of players they haven't fulfilled their potential," he said.

"We've got a long way to go and if we can fulfil the potential we can try to achieve anything."

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