Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Hazard loving life at Chelsea

Chelsea new boy Eden Hazard has already made a big impact at Stamford Bridge

Eden Hazard is loving life at Chelsea - but admits it will be tough to maintain his stunning start to the Barclays Premier League.

The 21-year-old Belgian midfielder has been Chelsea's outstanding performer in their 100% start to the domestic league campaign and although Roberto di Matteo's men were brought up short by Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup, Hazard insists they can return to winning ways.

Hazard, signed for £32million from Lille, said: "Everything's going really well for me. I've been well received by everyone. It won't be easy to keep up that level in every game, I know that, but I always knew what I was capable of."

The 4-1 defeat to Atletico in Monaco on Friday night exposed the fact that Chelsea are still some way from being the finished article, but Hazard argued it could do the club some good in the longer term.

He added: "Perhaps it will make us work even harder when we all return to training. Perhaps the change of environment will do us good and we will all come back stronger. We just need to forget about it and move on.

"From a personal standpoint, it certainly won't get me down. I'm a pretty natural guy and just take one game at a time. I'm already looking ahead to the next adventure."

Hazard will now turn his attention to the international scene and he declared that it is time that Belgium's array of hugely-promising talent delivered some goods.

It is a decade since the country last qualified for the World Cup or the European Championships, but with players such as Thomas Vermaelen, Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini and Hazard himself there should be little excuse for another failure.

Belgium open their World Cup qualifying campaign against Wales in Cardiff on Friday followed by Croatia three days later and Hazard said: "For the country and fans, the next two games are really important.

"With the squad we have now, we should be able to do something. In a way it's now or never for Belgium."

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