Cesar Azpilicueta targeting cup success with Chelsea
Blues remain in the Europa League and FA Cup
Monday 11 February 2013
Cesar Azpilicueta believes Chelsea face a key week of knockout competition with the first leg of the Europa League clash at Sparta Prague followed by the FA Cup fourth-round replay with Brentford.
The Blues' defence of the Champions League title won last May ended limply before Christmas, but now their attention turns to the Europa League last-32 in Prague on Thursday night.
"We want to play every few days because it means we are still in competitions," Azpilicueta, who impressed in Saturday's 4-1 Barclays Premier League defeat of Wigan, said on chelseafc.com.
"It is very important for the team to keep going in the Europa League and the FA Cup.
"It is true the Europa League is not the same as the Champions League because that is the top but the Europa League is a big competition, an important competition, and now we have the chance to win it.
"Never in the history of Chelsea have we won this cup and we are going to try to do it."
European Cup-winning manager Roberto Di Matteo was replaced by interim boss Rafael Benitez when Chelsea failed to advance from the Champions League group stages.
Chelsea have struggled for positive results in recent weeks, including drawing at npower League One Brentford, resulting in this week's replay.
Azpilicueta, though, is confident Benitez's methods are working.
"The first months I was here we had Roberto [Di Matteo] with us and now Rafa came here and we are working very hard with him," added Azpilicueta, who won his first cap for Spain last week.
"We are trying to do the things that he asks and I think that we are playing well and doing the right things.
"When we have lost we have done a good game but when you make mistakes you pay.
"When you don't win it is difficult but hopefully we now recover the smile that is important for the team and for the future."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United have two days to seal the transfer of the summer, Arsenal need to panic, Jose Mourinho right to blast Chelsea reluctance
Charlie Austin latest: Tottenham, Bournemouth and Newcastle among favourites to sign QPR striker
Anthony Martial transfer: Martial arts not in doubt but £36m is huge gamble by Manchester United
David De Gea transfer: Manchester United happy to keep keeper another year, if Fifa do not ratify 'late' transfer to Real Madrid
Van Gaal does not get the luxury of time that was given to his predecessors
- 1 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 2 David De Gea transfer: Manchester United happy to keep keeper another year, if Fifa do not ratify 'late' transfer to Real Madrid
- 3 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the word become popular?
- 4 Isis releases graphic video showing four Shia 'spies' being burned alive in Anbar, Iraq
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms