Petr Cech warns Chelsea over failure to qualify for Champions League

 

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech believes it would be a major setback if the club fail to qualify for the Champions League - but not the end of their mission to conquer Europe.

Saturday's goalless draw against Tottenham was the most damaging result yet in Chelsea's bid to play in Europe's elite club competition for the 10th successive season.

Goalkeeper Cech, who has starred in the Champions League for eight years of Chelsea's nine-year unbroken run since Roman Abramovich's takeover, knows how important the competition is to the club.

He is certain Chelsea would be able to react in the right way and set out to atone for missing out, but nevertheless admitted it would be a blow to miss out.

Cech said: "It is a year lost in the progression of the club. For a big club, you can accept that the team does not win the league because it is in transition.

"But you can't afford to slip out of the Champions League spots, because the big teams are about the Champions League."

Cech is confident Chelsea would not suffer the same fate as Liverpool were they to finish outside the top four.

 

The Reds have been nowhere near getting back in the Champions League since their last appearance in the competition in 2009.

Cech said: "Liverpool had so many problems within the club, not really on the pitch, so that is why they kind of lost some time. But this club has the structure.

"I believe that one season will make a difference, because it will slow down all the process of being a Champions League club and hunting for trophies, but it will not be the end of Chelsea, because I believe that we will come back."

Liverpool also demonstrated in 2005 that finishing fifth was not a bar to qualifying for the Champions League, provided you win the competition.

But as Chelsea head to Lisbon today ahead of a quarter-final first leg against Benfica, that is arguably an even tougher task.

"The aim is never just to forget about the position in the league, and win the Champion League," Cech said. "It would be great to do that, but the league and finishing in the top four is important for the club as well.

"We want to make sure that we will be there next season, somehow."

Chelsea, who also have an FA Cup semi-final ahead of them, will have to find a way to close the five-point gap to Tottenham in their final eight league games, which include trips to Arsenal and Liverpool.

Cech said: "In terms of the Premier League, we have put ourselves in a difficult position. But there are 24 points still left, and that is a lot of points to play for."

PA

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue