Torres goals will arrive soon, says Mata

 

Juan Mata is adamant Fernando Torres will eventually come good for
Chelsea after watching the £50million man fail to take advantage of his
long-awaited recall.

Torres endured another day to forget in yesterday's 1-1 west London derby draw against Fulham, his first Barclays Premier League start for almost two months.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas appeared to have hand picked the match for the most expensive player ever transferred between British clubs to rebuild his shattered confidence.

But apart from a decent volley he hit straight at goalkeeper David Stockdale and a clumsy assist for Mata's opening goal, Torres looked as lost in a Chelsea shirt as he had ever done since January's record-breaking move from Liverpool.

Mata insists it will only be a matter of time before his fellow Spaniard and good friend justifies his transfer fee in earnest.

"Fernando is working hard every day in training and, for sure, the goal arrives soon," Mata said.

"Fernando always has the goals and, for sure, for Chelsea he has to score a lot of goals."

It remains to be seen whether Villas-Boas persists with Torres for Saturday's visit of Aston Villa but Chelsea are running out of games before Didier Drogba departs on African Nations Cup duty.

The weeks Drogba is away in January and early February looks set to be Torres' big chance to play himself back into form.

Villas-Boas recently rubbished reports Chelsea were running out of patience with the 27-year-old but they can ill afford to carry a passenger during that period, despite Villas-Boas all but conceding the title yesterday.

A hat-trick of 1-1 draws has put the Blues' top four spot back in jeopardy and they will drop out of the Champions League places if Arsenal beat Wolves this afternoon.

Mata said: "It is going to be very difficult because there are lot of teams and they are having very good seasons, like Arsenal, like Tottenham, like Liverpool, so we have to fight.

"Our next game is another that we have to win but Aston Villa is a very good team.

"We wanted to achieve the six points in our two home games but against Fulham we got one, and we hope to win three points against Aston Villa."

Villas-Boas has repeatedly declared he has the full backing of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich but the Russian is unlikely to tolerate a failure to finish in the top four.

Guus Hiddink is still lurking in the background as a readily-available replacement after Anzhi Makhachkala today appointed Yuri Krasnozhan as their new manager.

For now, Villas-Boas will be given funds to continue his reshaping of the side, with Gary Cahill set to be his first January signing and at least one more new arrival expected.

Florent Malouda could be the next player to leave after declaring he would be prepared to go due to his limited playing time.

He has already been linked with Paris St Germain, whose new manager is former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Fulham could also see comings and goings in the transfer window, with Bobby Zamora heavily linked with moves to Sunderland and QPR.

The Cottagers performed well yesterday without their injured talisman, whose relationship with manager Martin Jol has reportedly become strained.

Zamora will be desperate to get back playing, with a place in England's European Championship squad at stake.

Team-mate Stockdale was also hoping to gatecrash the trip to Poland and Ukraine following his heroics yesterday.

The 26-year-old, who has been called into the England squad several times this year, said: "Every time I get called, it's exciting - I'm just going to play for every squad and not look too far ahead.

"It's not about England at the moment - it's about me cementing my place in the Fulham team."

Stockdale was recalled by Fulham this month from a season-long loan at Ipswich after Mark Schwarzer became injured and he added: "I got a good run on loan at Ipswich and I'd like to thank them for that and hopefully it's all part of me doing well for Fulham.

"I've just got to keep going and play for as long as the manager puts me in."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
News
i100
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

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention