Gary Cahill has acknowledged Chelsea must improve swiftly after a less than ideal beginning to Jose Mourinho’s second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are winless in four matches after their worst start to a EPL campaign in 10 years and on Wednesday night were beaten 2-1 by Basel in their Champions League Group E opener.
Saturday’s west London derby with Fulham is an opportunity to make amends as Mourinho’s men bid for a first victory since the defeats of Hull and Aston Villa at the start of the season.
“It’s not a disaster but it’s not ideal,” said Cahill, on chelseafc.com, of the Basle loss. A club like this wants to win the majority of games it plays. That’s the expectation. It’s a blow but it’s not the be all and end all.
“We need to win our next game now, as simple as that. The manager will stress that. We’ve got the squad to do it, we need to go on now and get back to winning ways on Saturday.”
Following a draw at Manchester United, the penalty shootout loss to Bayern Munich in the European Super Cup and last Saturday’s defeat at Everton, Chelsea were expected to dispatch Basel, whom they beat en route to winning the Europa League last term.
However, the Blues are now playing catch-up in a group which also features Steaua Bucharest and Schalke, 3-0 victors over the Romanians last night. Next the Blues play in Bucharest on October 1.
That Basel ended Chelsea’s near 10-year, 29-match unbeaten run in the Champions League group stages made the result all the more remarkable, but Mourinho’s side did not deserve their half-time lead courtesy of Oscar’s goal and the Swiss side’s first win in England at the 11th attempt was only fair.
“It’s a big shock really,” added England defender Cahill, who was culpable for loose marking which led to Marco Streller’s headed winner nine minutes from time.
“We gave them a bit too much room all over the pitch but first half, we looked like we were in control of the game. “In the second half we didn’t quite step it up that level and we paid the price for it.
We played against them twice last year and they’re a very good side. The onus was on us to step it up and we didn’t quite do that. At this sort of level we get punished and we’re obviously disappointed.”