Belfast Telegraph

Cech - Wilkins exit not to blame

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech insists the midweek departure of assistant coach Ray Wilkins had no bearing on their shock 3-0 home defeat to Sunderland.

Goals from Nedum Onuoha, Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck earned Sunderland their first away win of the season and sent Chelsea tumbling to their first home defeat since last March. Wilkins was told last week by chief executive Ron Gourlay that his contract would not be renewed.

"There are things that happen in football everyday," said Cech. "Managers come and go and first-team coaches and players can leave suddenly. So we are all used to things like that. But it's not an excuse. It was just that our performance wasn't up to standard. We didn't play well as a team.

Sunderland outplayed the league leaders throughout and Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti labelled their poor performance as the worst since he took charge last year.

Chelsea were without captain John Terry with a back injury and Alex (knee) and their replacements Paulo Ferreira and Branislav Ivanovic could not cope with Welbeck and Gyan.

Cech continued: "There are things that happen in football everyday," said Cech. "Managers come and go and first-team coaches and players can leave suddenly.

"So we are all used to things like that. But it's not an excuse. It was just that our performance wasn't up to standard. We didn't play well as a team.

"We gave them too much space. We were not good enough in attacking play, we were not good enough at defending as a team - not just individuals.

"We changed the back four but it is everyone's mistake. We were not compact enough. We were all over the place and that's why they had those chances and took them. We tried to do our usual job at home - but it wasn't to be and they profited from how we didn't play.

"We gave them a lot of space and they used that well to create good chances, attacking play and in the end they got the goals."

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