Thursday 14 December 2017

Drogba: We are all responsible

Striker says players must accept their share of the blame for Chelsea woes

Didier Drogba stopped short of telling Chelsea to "man up" ahead of their Champions League clash in Napoli but called on his team-mates to take responsibility for getting their season back on track.

It is almost deja vu for the Blues, a year on from last season's Champions League last 16 first leg at FC Copenhagen when they were in another mid-season malaise.

That saw captain John Terry call on his team-mates to "man up", which they did during a 2-0 win in Denmark.

Twelve months on and the build-up to another opening knockout phase match has been dominated by talk of crisis at Stamford Bridge and when reminded of Terry's rallying cry, Drogba said: "I think we are all responsible for the results.

"Chelsea Football Club is responsible for the results, and I think we all have to play our game.

"The good thing in football is that there's always another game to change the bad moment."

That moment has certainly lasted four winless games, while it could be argued it stretches back even further, with Chelsea having won only four of their last 13 matches.

The bad run has mostly coincided with Drogba's absence at the African Nations Cup.

The 33-year-old will be expected to swoop to the rescue in what is expected to be his first Chelsea start of 2012 tomorrow, but he denied he was the sole solution to the club's recent goalscoring problems.

"Even when I was there, we were struggling to score goals," said Drogba, who last night looked set to replace Fernando Torres in attack.

"We have talent. We have goalscorers here. The players want to put the ball in the net.

"The most important thing for me is to create chances.

"The more chances you create, the more possibilities you have to score."

Drogba is keenly aware of the tough task facing Chelsea tonight against a side that put paid to Manchester City's Champions League ambitions.

"Napoli are at this stage of the competition because they deserve it," said Drogba.

"We'll have to be clever and we're going to do what the manager is going to ask us to do. (Laughs) Like always, of course."

That was partly in response to wild suggestions that Drogba had somehow delivered a team talk at half-time during Saturday's FA Cup tie at home to Birmingham City.

"I want to make things clear: the manager made a speech at half-time, and after that, I think he's got some leaders in the team, in the squad," Drogba said. "So we're here to help him. We were trying to win. At half-time, nothing more. We did what the manager wanted us to do and tried to apply what he was saying. Nothing more. People are making a big thing out of nothing."

Napoli v Chelsea, TV3, Sky Sports 2 (K.O 7.45)

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