Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has called on the club to turn around their stuttering form immediately after a disappointing recent run.
Chelsea started the season in impressive fashion, winning eight of their opening 12 games under Frank Lampard, despite having been unable to strengthen in the summer due to their transfer ban, with the influential Eden Hazard having left for Real Madrid.
However, their form has dropped off significantly in recent weeks, winning just two of their last seven Premier League games, the Blues clinging onto their place in the top four by just two points.
Next up for Lampard’s side is a London derby against an equally out-of-form Arsenal, and having suffered a shock 2-0 loss to relegation-threatened Southampton on Boxing Day, Cesar Azpilicueta has called for the West Londoner’s to ‘bounce back’.
“For them it is a new beginning with a new coach but for us it is a massive game after a disappointing result,” Azpilicueta said, as per the Mail.
“It is a London derby and we have to bounce back. We have to be ready for the second part of the season.
“We have to learn because it is important to see the reality, to see where we can do better and we must do better if we want to be at the top.
“We were in a better position before the international break. The gap was bigger and we were in third. Now it is very competitive.”
Frank Lampard discussed the clubs struggles in breaking down compact sides, and Azpilicueta admitted that the team has suffered a ‘harsh’ lesson in recent weeks, urging them to turn their run of form around ‘straight away’.
“It is not normal to lose so many games in your stadium with your fans,” he added.
“When teams see we have not won games at home they come with more confidence because they see they can do it.
“We have to turn it around straight away. We have the players, we have the quality and the lesson has been very harsh.”