Gary Cahill expressed Chelsea FC's determination to return to winning ways against FC Schalke 04 when he addressed the media ahead of Wednesday's Group E meeting at Stamford Bridge.
Since succumbing 2-1 at home to FC Basel 1893 on matchday one, the Blues had won eight out of nine games in all competitions before their momentum was punctured with a 2-0 Premier League reverse at Newcastle United FC on Saturday. "I wouldn't say the wheels fell off," said Cahill. "The lads are disappointed after the weekend and we will look for a positive reaction, which I'm sure we'll get."
Indeed, José Mourinho's charges have every reason to be confident having sent three unanswered goals past Schalke last time out – a result that took them level on points with the Royal Blues. Wednesday's return fixture will be a "similar game" according to Cahill, who paid tribute to Chelsea's defensive steel in Gelsenkirchen.
"We were very organised out there," added the England centre-back, who started in Chelsea's 2012 UEFA Champions League final triumph against FC Bayern München just four months after joining from Bolton Wanderers FC. "We played well and limited their opportunities to long-distance efforts and caught them on the counterattack a few times."
Now an experienced campaigner at this level, Cahill is too savvy to fall victim to complacency, knowing well the threat Schalke pose. "They had a lot of possession and they've got some good players," he added. "However, I think the onus will be on us, being at home, to be on the front foot. I'm sure there'll be spells in the game where we need to concentrate."
The Basel defeat was the west London outfit's first in 30 home group stage matches and Cahill is desperate to avoid a similar fate. "We're at home and it's important we put on a show every time," said the 27-year-old. "We got off to a a disappointing start but since then we've reacted well and put ourselves in a great position in the group. If we are fortunate enough to get the result tomorrow it puts us in a great position, but we know it's going to be tough."
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.