Oriol Romeu demands 'fight' from Chelsea team-mates

Chelsea draw 0-0 at home to Fulham

Oriol Romeu told his Chelsea team-mates they needed to “fight” to shake themselves out of their alarming slump after admitting it had left confidence in short supply.

The European champions stuttered to another 0-0 draw in last night's west London derby with Fulham, their sixth Barclays Premier League game without a win.

It was also their third successive match without scoring and their second straight goalless stalemate, the first time either had happened since Roman Abramovich bought the club.

It also made interim manager Rafael Benitez the first boss of the Abramovich era not to win either of his first two games under the Russian, results which saw Chelsea slip seven points behind Manchester United ahead of Saturday's trip to West Ham.

Midfielder Romeu, who made only his third league start of the season last night, told Chelsea TV: "We have to keep going forward, look at the positive things and win the games and fight, fight, in each game.

"When we get the confidence, the goals will go in. I'm sure about that.

"We had two clean sheets after a long time without that happening.

"So, that's a positive thing and the only thing is that, if we score, we can win.

"We are defending well and now we have to think of attack and scoring more goals, for sure."

Romeu was drafted in for John Obi Mikel last night, the former Barcelona youngster adding more quality in possession but without much penetration.

The 21-year-old admitted he needed to help Chelsea counter-attack more quickly if they were to create more chances.

"The counter-attack is a good point to kill the opponents and I think we can do it a bit quicker," he said.

"And, if we can do it, we can get chances a little bit better.

"So, we will try to improve that point and obviously we have a few more points to get better."

In fairness to Romeu, he has enjoyed only a handful of starts since Andre Villas-Boas was replaced by Roberto Di Matteo back in March, but he said: "I'm young, I'm fit to play 90 minutes, so that's not a problem.

"The only thing you want is to play, no matter how many minutes you are on the pitch."

Chelsea were also not helped yesterday by a sterile atmosphere at Stamford Bridge for Benitez's second match in charge.

The fans eventually made their feelings known but it was, predictably, in the form of more hostility towards the former Liverpool boss.

"We have to accept that maybe the supporters are not as happy as we would like," Romeu said.

"But we do our job, we have to go out there and win our games."

Doing that involves scoring goals and reports in Brazil today suggested Chelsea were negotiating a move for Metalist Kharkiv striker Taison.

The Brazilian forward was said to have travelled to London for talks with the Blues, who were also rumoured to have tracked him previously in the summer.

They did not have to look far yesterday for a striker who could make a difference at Stamford Bridge after Dimitar Berbatov's impudent performance against them.

The Bulgarian, who Fulham bagged for a bargain fee from Manchester United this summer, completely outshone opposite number Fernando Torres.

Berbatov was instrumental in the visitors almost snatching their first win at Stamford Bridge for 33 years but full-back John Arne Riise came the closest to scoring.

"I should have scored at least one," he told his club's official website, http://www.fulhamfc.com.

"But I had a bad first control and the second one was a deflection and a great save."

The first came after a lighting breakaway and Riise added: "I ran about 90 yards so I was quite tired by the end! I tried to chest it down to take the shot but the control was too close to my body and I couldn't get a shot off, so I was disappointed."

However, Riise was far from discouraged by a result and performance which boded well for Saturday's visit of Tottenham.

He added: "We've got to take that momentum in the Tottenham game, and that's something that we're all looking forward to."

PA

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