Belfast Telegraph

Cahill grateful to Villa

Gary Cahill has seen off one of his former clubs with Chelsea this week and hopes the Barclays Premier League leaders can beat another on Saturday.

Cahill, who joined Chelsea from Bolton in January 2012, helped the Blues to a 2-1 Capital One Cup win on Wednesday night to set up a fourth-round tie at Shrewsbury.

Now the 28-year-old central defender, whose influence at Stamford Bridge is growing by the game, faces Aston Villa, the side where he began his career.

"I had a great time at Villa, more than anything with the youth team," Cahill said on chelseafc.com.

"I owe a lot to them, they brought me through and I had a great time, so I'm looking forward to it.

"They've had a great start to the season, apart from their last result, so it's going to be another tough test for us."

Villa are three points behind Chelsea in third place in the table after a 3-0 defeat at home to Arsenal followed their win at Liverpool in the previous game.

Chelsea's win over Sky Bet Championship strugglers Bolton should have been more emphatic, but for some wasteful finishing, but Cahill was satisfied with a fifth win in an unbeaten seven matches at the start of the season.

"It's great to have a winning mentality," he added.

"If you have a couple of sticky results it puts the pressure on going into games but at the moment we're unbeaten, we're going well and we should have confidence, especially playing in front of our own fans at Stamford Bridge."

Cahill was one of only two players retained from the starting line-up which drew 1-1 at Manchester City, alongside Cesar Azpilicueta, and enjoyed featuring against Wanderers.

"Any player will tell you that when you're playing against your old club there's that added bit of emotion," he said.

"You try not to let it affect you and play your normal game but I'm a professional and the most important thing is that we won the game. They made it tough for us but thankfully we won."

Kurt Zouma's debut goal was cancelled out by Matt Mills before Oscar netted what proved to be the winner on a night when victory should have been more convincing and Andre Schurrle, in particular, should have scored.

Cahill added: "Schurrle created a lot for himself, I thought he played well, cutting inside and firing shots at goal.

"People expect you to win the game and it's not that easy. There have already been a few shocks and thankfully we weren't one of them."

Filipe Luis started in defence alongside Cahill, the left-back signed from Atletico Madrid making his second start after beginning the Schalke match a week earlier.

The Brazilian is happy to bide his time, believing the team is what is most important.

He told the London Evening Standard: "Everyone wants to play. If you don't, normally you're not happy.

"But when I came here, I spoke with (manager Jose) Mourinho and I knew I'd come to Chelsea to be a champion, not to be the best left-back or best crosser or something.

"When you work with Mourinho, you have to know that the group, the collective is above the individual. I don't think about myself right now.

"The team are doing a great job. We won the first four league games and drew the fifth one.

"I have nothing to complain about. I have to wait for my chance and when it comes I must make sure I don't go out of the first 11."

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