“The last 15-20 minutes were very tough but in the first half we were in control,” Gary Cahill admitted speaking after the game at Norwich.
The central defender gained back his confidence since starting regularly along with Branislav Ivanovic at the centre of the defense after John Terry‘s injury:
“In the second half it was a totally different game, we had to dig in, we had to defend. We couldn’t get up the pitch, we couldn’t get out. Credit to them, they put us under a lot of pressure and made changes, putting forwards on, but it felt good to grind out a result.
“We said collectively that we need to keep this momentum going. We knew they were struggling a little bit but in the second half they didn’t show that, they showed a lot of fight and a lot of spirit. They made it really tough for us in the end but thankfully we got over the line and it’s a big three points.”
Kenedy scored the Premier League‘s fastest goal of the season after just 39 seconds and Cahill was pleased by that:
“It was unbelievable: we wanted to start fast and we couldn’t have started any faster than that. It was a great individual goal, out of nothing really. In the first half it was a totally different game, we were in control and we played well.”
Cahill also spoke about Guus Hiddink‘s faith in the youngsters:
“The manager has shown faith in the young players: Kenedy produced a fantastic piece of individual brilliance for the first goal. Traore came in and did well and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] has got a new contract. I’ve spoken highly of Ruben since he first started training with us, I think he’s going to be a big player so it’s great news.
“Kenedy and Traore are so tricky and so sharp with the way they like to manipulate the ball and turn. They make it difficult for defenders to defend. They’re obviously good enough to be involved and good enough to play.
“It’s hard but they’ve proven themselves and Traores’s scored a few good goals for us.”
The defender also praised Diego Costa, back to regular scoring now:
“I’m sure for a striker if you’re scoring goals you feel as though every time you take to the field you’re going to score, and he’s in that mindset now,.
“He feels confident. His finish was good and ultimately for us if we’ve got Diego in form and scoring goals it’s great, long may it continue.
Cahill explained how things changed after Hiddink took charge in December:
“We have great individual talent and I think everything has just calmed down a bit.
“They talk about steadying the ship and I think that’s been the case, he’s settled everybody down, eased the pressure and he’s just letting us go out and play, which is what we’ve been doing.”