Didier Drogba says Chelsea players must take responsibility
Tuesday 21 February 2012
Didier Drogba stopped short of telling Chelsea to "man up" ahead of their Champions League clash at 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 players have to play their game.
"The good thing in football is that there's always another game to change the bad moment, the difficult 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."
Napoli forward Ezequiel Lavezzi has also struggled to find the net in the Champions League, despite being part of one of the most feared attacking trios in Europe.
"This is the most important match of the season and we can't make mistakes," said Lavezzi ahead of his side's first ever knockout-phase game.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have warned they would complain to UEFA should their players suffer racist abuse during the game after members of the squad were reportedly subjected to monkey chants on arriving at the team hotel.
Blues officials were made aware of the alleged abuse and a spokesman said: "Chelsea Football Club finds any form of discriminatory behaviour totally abhorrent and we believe it has no place in society whatsoever.
"If any members of our team or staff are subjected to racist abuse we would find that wholly unacceptable and it would be reflected in our conversations with UEFA."
Press Association Sport understands there were no further disturbances when the squad returned to their hotel last night after training at the San Paolo stadium.
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