Gary Cahill admits to feeling angry at Chelsea’s performance in defeat at Manchester United on Sunday but is expecting an immediate response.
The Blues were beaten 2-0 at Old Trafford with their former boss Jose Mourinho scoring a moral victory as goals from Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera pegged Chelsea back.
The defeat means Antonio Conte’s side are now just four points clear of London rivals Tottenham at the top of the Premier League with six games remaining.
Chelsea remain the favourites to win the title but a fifth loss of the campaign left England defender Cahill hoping it was a bad day at the office rather than the start of a slump which could prove costly.
“We didn’t click,” he told chelseafc.com
“It’s disappointing. We tried to work hard in the second half, tried to push and create, but we were below the standards we’ve set.
“We weren’t at the races and it makes us a bit angry. Let’s hope it’s an off day and it doesn’t cost us too much.
“We expected them to start fast and we had to try and control that, and we never did.”
While Chelsea and Spurs will insist they only have eyes on themselves in the title run-in, the pair do clash next weekend in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
They last met in the final four back in 2012 and it was Chelsea who ran out comfortable 5-1 winners on that occasion.
And Cahill, who came off the bench for Roberto Di Matteo’s side that afternoon, wants a reaction from the Blues after Sunday’s poor display.
“We have to react in the right way,” he said.
“We have to dust ourselves off and prepare for a huge semi-final, and then we go again with some important home games coming up.”
Spurs have won their last seven league games to keep the pressure on Chelsea, who also lost at home to Crystal Palace earlier in the month.
Cahill wants a similar answer to that set-back and knows a fifth Premier League crown is not simply waiting for Chelsea at the end of the season.
“We reacted after Palace, we bounced back with two wins so it’s a similar thing,” he added.
“We have to go again. We are still in a great position.
“There are only six games left, and we are still in a good position. We need to realise it’s not over, we need to realise there are points to play for, and we have to dig in.
“No-one is going to give us this league, we have to work for it like we have done for the majority of this season.”