Europa League: Fernando Torres says chance of silverware is keeping spirits high at Chelsea

The Blues take on Basel in the semi-final first leg on Thursday

Fernando Torres has suggested the Europa League is keeping spirits high among the Chelsea squad, ahead of their semi-final first leg in Basel on Thursday.

"The competition is helping the team a lot," he said. "It is giving us a lot of satisfaction - not like in the Premier League."

The Europa League remains the Blues' only chance of silverware this season and Torres believes they will salvage their season if they go on to lift the trophy in May. "The Europa League is keeping us in a good mood and thinking it could be a good season."

But Petr Cech has maintained that Basel pose a difficult challenge ahead of any potential final appearance. "It will be a very tough game," he insisted. "In the recent years they had a lot of success, and they got experience from playing the European cups."

Indeed, the Swiss have proved a problematic hurdle for English sides over recent years. Manchester United fell to defeat at St. Jakob Park in last season's Champions League, before Tottenham were knocked out on penalties in the Europa League quarter-final earlier this month.

The 30-year-old stopper has denied any suggestion that Chelsea are undervaluing the Europa League, following last season's success in the Champions League. "You can feel it's slightly different, but it's still a European night, you still have stadiums full and I think it's great."

Cech remains motivated by the opportunity to mark a European first, should Chelsea beat Basel and run out victorious in the Amsterdam Arena final. "We could be the first team in history to have won the Champions League and the Europa League back to back. So that would be a great achievement."

Victory on May 15 will also offer Cech and his Chelsea team-mates the opportunity to rectify a dismal showing in last year's Uefa Super Cup. The Blues lost 4-0 to Atletico Madrid at Stade Louis II, a defeat that still plays on the Czech international's mind. "What we all realise is that if you win the Europa League you can play the Super Cup again, and we got it terribly wrong in the Super Cup last year."

Meanwhile, Torres has admitted it has taken him a long time to settle into life at Stamford Bridge; the Spanish striker has managed just 14 goals since his move to West London in 2011. "The key is to adapt to a new system, new players, a new style of football, and that takes some time. In my case maybe more than it should." But the 29-year-old believes brighter prospects lie ahead, "I think my mind is open, more open than before, and I can see what I have to do to improve."

 

Fernando Torres and Petr Cech were speaking to uefa.com ahead of the UEfa Europa League match between Chelsea FC and FC Basel 1893. To see the full interview go to UEFA.com/EuropaLeague

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory