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  • By Paul Lagan

Azpilicueta: We made a mistake against Watford

Cesar Azpilicueta  Photo by Paul Lagan

Cesar Azpilicueta knows that by the time the team face West Bromwich Albion on Monday night, Chelsea could be out of the Champions League places. The Spain defender accepts the team made the wrong decision, when they clawed their way back into the game at Vicarage Road last night. But rather than settling for the point, the 10-men went for the win, but were exposed at the bck and conceded three more goals. He said: “It is difficult to take. We have had two heavy defeats and we are all really disappointed. “Obviously it is a massive setback for us. Against Bournemouth we conceded three goals in 15 minutes. In periods like that when we are bad, we need to try to manage it, to try to pass the time in the best way possible and then try to get the win from a corner, free kick, you never know. “Against Watford, the first half performance was not the kind we have to do. We did the most difficult thing and that is to come back to make it 1-1 but in the last 10 minutes we conceded three goals.”

Why did that happen? “When Eden scored the goal, the feeling we had on the pitch was that we could get the win, even though we had one man down,: he said. “We started the second half with a good spirit and trying to get the equaliser. “When we did it I saw a team capable of getting the three points, but we got it wrong. At the end we didn't just lose, we conceded three goals.” When most teams lose twice, it's not a big deal. But are Chelsea in crisis? “Well we are Chelsea and are a big club. Even when we lose just one game, it's a bad time for us. To lose two in a row is even worse. But I'm sure this team will get back to it, to fight. We still have three targets to go and we have a massive three-four months ahead of us.” Head coach Antonio Conte is under severe pressure - does he hope the club stick with him? “We are here altogether,” he said. “We are all disappointed with the result. I know that there has been speculation all the time in the five-six years I have been here. “As a player what I want is to come back to the training pitch as soon as possible, to work hard and to get into Monday's game, to get the three points and to get our confidence back.”

Has talk of Conte getting the sack had a negative effect on the players? “We have to know that it's part of our job,” he said. “When you win and are scoring goals (it's a case of) you’re doing amazing and you get all the plaudits. When that happens you have to be calm and be realistic. It’s the same during this time. We have to analyse ourselves. We know that we can do better and know that we can improve.” Does he feel he is letting Conte down? “No,” he said. “I think if you see the training sessions, we all fight hard. We are the first to be disappointed with the way the last two games went. But as I said, it was lost during 15 minutes in the last game and 10 minutes in this one. That’s really hard. We are getting penalised in the bad moments we are having in the game. It’s not a long period, but in this League, which is so tough, you get punished as soon as you drop a bit.” Chelsea could be out of the top four by next time you play? Will that be a psychological blow? “It will be difficult if that happens because we were in a very good position - we were fighting for second. But after two defeats we have dropped. The gap (to the teams behind) is getting closer and closer. “We have to know that on Monday we might start out of the top four but we have it in our hands to get back into it.”

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