Olivier Giroud says Chelsea’s pursuit of Champions League football is in their ‘own hands’ and has revealed his happiness at securing regular first-team football at Stamford Bridge.
The France international spent much of the campaign on the periphery of Frank Lampard’s side but has played an increasingly influential role either side of the Premier League‘s suspension, establishing himself as a first-choice and scoring five times in seven starts.
Giroud says he has been pleased with his contribution since returning to the fold, though the 33-year-old says he was equally as happy to see fellow forward Tammy Abraham return to the scoresheet with a decisive goal in Tuesday’s 3-2 win at Crystal Palace.
“I feel very well, I feel good,” he told chelseafc.com. “Statistics are very important for strikers and I’m very happy since the gaffer gave me the opportunity to come back in the team again. Since Tottenham I’ve scored five in seven so it’s nice and I need to keep it up to help the team to reach our target.
“I’m happy for Tammy because he came on and he made the difference. Obviously, when you are sub it’s not easy to deal with the situation but it is very well he came on with a good determination and he had a good chance and I was happy for him he put it in. I hope he’s going to help us to score more goals.
“His goal was important at the end because we conceded the 3-2. It’s always good also for the competition, to step up, push yourself out of your comfort zone, and it’s good for the team.”
Chelsea‘s win at Selhurst Park lifted the club to third in the Premier League, one point clear of Leicester and five ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United who travel to Aston Villa for their game-in-hand this evening.
Giroud says his side have their ‘destiny’ in their own hands ahead of the final four fixtures of the season and has urged his side to play with confidence and character as they bid to secure a place in next season’s Champions League.
“We kind of have our destiny in our hands,” he said. “If we win the games we don’t have to look at the opponent’s results. We just need to keep the momentum, keep winning and get some consistency, and obviously if we win all our games we are going to be in the Champions League next year.
“So we need to be confident, play with personality, with character, and I think we are in a good way even if we could have done better.
“We were a bit nervous because they were pushing, pushing to come back to get the draw. But we have been strong at the end. I’m thinking about Kurt’s tackle on Benteke, the save of Kepa at the end is amazing.
“So it was a bit of a tough time at the end, but we stick together and we defend well and most important is the three points and the win, even if everything was not perfect. But we take it with great pleasure.”
Chelsea have a potentially tricky looking run in however, with Sheffield United, Liverpool and Wolves all to come in their last four league games.