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Cech happy to please Blues fans

Petr Cech was pleased the Chelsea support left Stamford Bridge content following the 1-0 defeat of West Brom.

Last Updated: 03/03/13 at 14:02 Post Comment

Petr Cech: Pleased with performance against West Brom

Petr Cech: Pleased with performance against West Brom

Petr Cech is so focused on his job as a goalkeeper that the atmosphere is something of an irrelevance, but he was pleased the Chelsea support left Stamford Bridge content following the 1-0 defeat of West Brom on Saturday.

Much of the focus was on Rafael Benitez after the Spaniard had hit out at his title of 'interim manager' and criticised the fans for using their energies to insult him, rather than support the team, in mid-week.

Perhaps the Blues faithful heeded the message of former Liverpool boss Benitez because - although there were messages for him on banners, chants for his predecessors Roberto Di Matteo and Jose Mourinho and vitriol hurled in the Spaniard's direction - there was plenty of encouragement for the players too.

"I'm so focused on the game that I hardly understand what the people sing or shout or what they do," Cech told Chelsea TV.

"The main point is the people were here, the stadium was full, they were behind us, they supported the team and we won the game.

"We had a good performance and everyone seemed to leave the stadium happy."

Demba Ba's 28th-minute strike was the difference, but Chelsea, and Oscar in particular, spurned a number of other chances to make the game safe before a late rally from the Baggies.

Cech made strong saves from long-range shots by Steven Reid and Peter Odemwingie, but his most instinctive block came when a corner deflected goalwards off Chelsea right-back Cesar Azpilicueta.

Cech added: "Their chances came at the end because they threw everything at us and we hadn't killed them off. This was the story of the season a little bit. We had so many chances and Ben Foster had a great game.

"They survived until the 80th minute and then they waited patiently for their chances up front, they had to.

"But overall our performance was very good. Everybody was focused, everybody was concentrated until the last whistle."

Former Newcastle striker Ba scored his fourth Chelsea goal - and first against a side other than Southampton - to end a seven-match scoreless streak.

He praised David Luiz for having the skill and intelligence to head Oscar's cross back into the six-yard box, rather than go for goal himself.

Ba told Chelsea TV: "He (Luiz) put the ball exactly where he wanted to and I was there."

Luiz was playing at centre back, rather than the central midfield role in which Benitez has deployed him of late, due to the decision to rotate John Terry and Gary Cahill.

Terry continues to be used sparingly on his return from injury, while Cahill missed the midweek FA Cup win at Middlesbrough with a virus. Both were unused substitutes.

After a fraught week, Benitez was boosted by the victory.

He said on Chelsea TV: "I'm quite positive. I knew it could be more or less difficult, but the main thing is the team.

"I could see we needed the fans behind the team. That is the reason I said I will not stay beyond the end of the season."

The result would have been more comfortable had it not been for Foster, who recently declared himself available for England once more and stopped Chelsea on numerous occasions.

The watching England boss Roy Hodgson would have been impressed ahead of this month's matches with San Marino and Montenegro.

Foster was unaware former Baggies boss Hodgson and England goalkeeper coach Dave Watson, whom he worked with at Birmingham, were at Stamford Bridge.

The 29-year-old goalkeeper - who has won five caps for England, the last in November 2010 before he announced his retirement in May 2011 - said on www.wba.co.uk: "It was good to put on a good performance.

"I spoke to Roy last week about England and he was very happy with it. I also spoke to the goalkeeper coach Dave Watson. I'm very happy with the decision.

"The main reason I've made the decision is my body really has improved a lot over the last few years - they're the best I've had.

"The kids are getting on for four and five now and starting school so I won't see them as much. That was the main reason behind it.

"Roy also knows what I'm about. He worked with me for a year at West Brom and he knows what he's going to get from me.

"He said 'there are a lot of good goalkeepers out there so go out there and show me you can get into the team'.

"You don't expect to walk straight back into the team but I'll take every game as it comes and go out there and look to do as well as I can for West Brom."


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