Cahill urges Chelsea to take control of title race
28 February 2014, 09:03
London - Gary Cahill admits Chelsea have the opportunity to strike a decisive blow in the Premier League title race when they face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho's side take on the Premier League's bottom club three days after the 1-1 Champions League draw with Galatasaray in Istanbul.
They go into the game at the head of the table, a point ahead of Arsenal and three points clear of Manchester City.
But with City set to miss the next two rounds of league games because of Sunday's League Cup final and next weekend's FA Cup quarter-finals, Chelsea could extend their advantage over Manuel Pellegrini's side to nine points before the Eastlands club return to league action.
Arsenal are also involved in the FA Cup next weekend when Chelsea face Tottenham in a league fixture at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's England centre-back Cahill admits the schedule provides an added incentive but he knows the draining effects of the trip to Turkey means they cannot afford to take anything for granted at Craven Cottage.
"Psychologically, it would be decent for us. We've got to rest up because it's a big game against Fulham. We'll do all we can," Cahill said.
"Ideally, you'd like a week to prepare but that's not the case. It's going to come fast and it's an important match."
The draw with Galatasaray once again highlighted Chelsea's lack of a cutting edge, with Mourinho lamenting his side's inability to finish teams off when he spoke after the game.
Fernando Torres put the Blues ahead and will now be forced to wait to see if he gets the nod to start at Craven Cottage ahead of Samuel Eto'o.
Mourinho insisted he did not blame his strikers for the side's inability to leave Istanbul with a first leg advantage, but the manager knows Chelsea cannot afford to pass up the chance to maintain pressure on their title rivals by dropping points against Fulham.
The Cottagers began life under Felix Magath - the club's third manager of the season - with a 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion.
Magath's arrival at the club was accompanied by tales from his time working with several Bundesliga clubs when he established a reputation as a hard task-master with unconventional training methods.
But Fulham winger Alex Kacaniklic believes the 62-year-old has made a positive impact since his arrival.
"It has been really good so far and I like his training sessions," he said.
"There has been a good pace in training and you can see that we have got a new boost. I have got a positive impression of him. His ideas about football appeal to me."