Thursday 22 March 2018

Terry - Anfield defeat could galvanise Chelsea

John Terry. Photo: Getty Images
John Terry. Photo: Getty Images

Chelsea captain John Terry believes the defeat at Liverpool was a "kick up the backside" the team needed.

Two superbly-taken goals by Fernando Torres inflicted only the Blues' second Barclays Premier League defeat of the season, preventing them restoring their five-point advantage at the top of the table.

The visitors were left reeling by Liverpool's first-half display and even though they had the better of things after the interval there was no way back for Carlo Ancelotti's side.

Having struggled to overcome Blackburn last weekend Terry feels the players have to take a look at themselves and their performances.

"I don't think we ever take things for granted at this club but maybe this is the kick up the backside we all needed," he said.

"We haven't been playing too well recently but have been grinding out results.

"We have another gear to find and we're still at the top of the Premier League, so we have to be encouraged by that but we can't forget what has got us there in the first place."

With Didier Drogba left on the bench until the second half because of illness and Michael Essien missing with a toe injury Chelsea struggled to impose themselves.

Terry recognises that failing but said they could not use the absence of key players as an excuse.

"In the last couple of games away from home, we have started the game very slowly and we did the same yesterday," he added.

"I am disappointed to lose in the manner we did. I just think the tempo was missing early on.

"We obviously knew Liverpool hadn't had the best of starts to the season but they were up for it from the word go.

"We tried to take the sting out of the game but it backfired on us. That wasn't a tactical thing, it just seemed to happen.

"The next thing we knew we were 2-0 down and by the time we got our game together in the second half, it was too little too late.

"We let it go too easily early on. It is frustrating and we need to look at it.

"When you suffer a defeat people always look at the players missing but we still had a good enough squad to win the game."

Terry is thankful they will get the chance to correct things quickly as they host near-neighbours Fulham on Wednesday.

"We have to bounce back and move on," he told the Evening Standard.

"I'm thankful we had a five-point cushion going in but it would have been nice to keep that.

"Unfortunately we've lost three points with Manchester United winning late on.

"But we go again on Wednesday against Fulham at Stamford Bridge, which is the only good thing.

"The games come thick and fast now and we have to pick ourselves up quickly.

"It will be a tough game against Fulham, who proved very hard to beat last year, but we have to pick up three points now."

Essien is likely to return against Fulham but fellow midfielder Frank Lampard's comeback from a hernia operation will have to wait until Sunday's home clash with Sunderland at the earliest.

"Essien had a problem with his toe in the last Premier League game (against Blackburn) and I hope on Wednesday he will be able to play," said Ancelotti.

"Frank Lampard will not be fit for Wednesday but I hope he will be back for Sunderland."

Ancelotti brushed aside the defeat at Anfield by insisting his team were still the ones to catch.

"Our moment is good and we have to look forward to the next game against Fulham," he added.

"We are in the better position compared to the other teams.

"Psychologically it can happen to lose a game but we are top of the table and we have to win the next game."

Press Association

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