14pts back but Terry won't ditch faint hopes

Chelsea's John Terry applauds the fans at the end of the match.
Chelsea's John Terry applauds the fans at the end of the match. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • John Terry believes Chelsea can still qualify for the Champions League after completing the double over Arsenal.

Chelsea are 14 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in 13th position with 15 Premier League matches remaining, but the Blues skipper insists that they are capable of storming up the table during the rest of the season.

"Anything is doable as everybody is beating everybody else," the centre-back said, after Chelsea registered back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.

"It is a tough league and if we put a run together, we have a good chance of fourth. We've drawn too many of late so we needed these three points."

Indeed, while Chelsea are on the longest active unbeaten run in the Premier League, four of their last seven results have been draws. And they have further tests to come.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Leicester City are still to visit Stamford Bridge, while Chelsea have to travel to Liverpool.

Interim manager Guus Hiddink was more circumspect about finishing in the Champions League berths but did echo Terry's optimism.

"If the captain says yes, then we'll follow the captain," said the Dutchman.

"It's a gap, but if you see how competitive all the teams are - whether you are down or high in the ranking - then all the teams can beat each other. With that gap, it's difficult to go into fourth.

"The team showed their ambition and that was pleasing against an opponent like Arsenal, who are very skilful and were dangerous, even with 10 men."

He added that Didier Drogba will not be joining Chelsea in a coaching role after their former striker resumed pre-season training with Montreal Impact, the Canadian Major League Soccer club, on Sunday.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2016, with the headline '14pts back but Terry won't ditch faint hopes'. Print Edition | Subscribe