'If we want to go all the way we have to up our game' says Terry

Chelsea may be through to the last 16 of the Champions League, and with their manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, declaring he does not care who they face in the next round, but their captain, John Terry, voiced the concern within the squad when he admitted last night that they need to start performing a lot better if they are to win the competition.

"If we want to go all the way we have to really up our game," the central defender said. "We are through to the knockout stages now so we have to be on the ball home and away." Terry has become something of a spokesman for Chelsea's indifferent form in recent weeks – indifferent in the context of nevertheless being in second place in the Premier League and still in the Champions League – and he admitted that the players have not "done justice to ourselves in Europe yet this season" while declaring there has been "pressure" because of poor form. Chelsea have, he said, suffered a "bad run".

Understandably, Scolari was more circumspect. "I think we played well," he said after the 2-1 victory over the Romanian champions, CFR Cluj. "Not very well, but well. We are second [in Group A] and we will have to wait and see what happens in the draw."

Asked who he preferred to play – or avoid – Scolari added: "I don't choose the team. For me it is no difference if I play against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan because they are the best. If we want to get to the final we need to win a, b or c."

Despite the unconvincing performance Scolari defended his players but, tellingly, added that he "prayed" that with Didier Drogba finally available and others edging back to fitness Chelsea did not suffer further injuries.

"It's important for me because he's one of the best in the world and I have options," Scolari said of Drogba. "I have a chance sometimes to play a different system. Before, no. I need to say to you that Anelka is as important as Drogba. I expect and I pray to God that I have no more injuries, after that it's up to me to decide to play the two players together or decide which one is the best for Chelsea."

Scolari had toyed with the idea of starting both strikers but decided against the option. He did not wait long to make a change last night. After watching as Alex missed with a header, as Anelka had a shot blocked, and Joe Cole fired wide, he decided on shaking up his tactics. It was hardly revolutionary but he pushed Salomon Kalou inside a little more. And the Ivorian scored.

The goal followed two animated conversations Scolari had had with the Coles – Joe and Ashley. He called the former over to switch wings and tell Kalou to come inside; he told the latter he needed to push on more himself to support the attack which was misfiring, with Anelka again showing the worrying tendency he has to drift out of Champions League matches.

His movement is appalling. He waits for things to happen, not offering attacking options. Moves break down because of him. He is the opposite of Drogba which, of course, in a sense fuels the argument that the pair could work well together. Except both give the impression that they prefer to operate alone.

It was after a miss by Anelka that Cluj equalised. Immediately Joe Cole fluffed an even better opportunity. Both should have scored, neither did. It only highlighted Chelsea's crying need for that extra striker that Scolari is demanding.

On came Drogba. Everyone knows he can be the solution. The substitution, with Kalou going off, meant Anelka was forced into an increasingly marginal role and he was watching as Joe Cole and Drogba combined brilliantly for the latter to score.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering