DRONFIELD-born Gary Cahill refuses to concede the Premier League title race to the Manchester clubs, insisting a triumphant run would propel Chelsea back into contention.
The Blues’ 2-1 victory over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge left them trailing leaders Manchester United by 11 points and second place City by six with 15 games remaining.
Even interim manager Rafael Benitez has accepted seizing City’s crown is highly unlikely, but Cahill insists they must be ready to pounce on any slip up by their rivals.
“We are looking up, not down, and want to try and chase first and second spots. Yes we are looking at the Manchester clubs,” the England defender said.
“It has been frustrating because there have been many times this season where we have nearly got ourselves back involved, only to let it slip.
“But we are more than capable of putting a run together and winning nine out of 10 games.
“That’s what we need to aim for and see where it takes us. We have got to make sure we are in one of the spots for the Champions League.
“We also have the cup competitions and we want to go as far as we possibly can in them.
“We just want to win games. A lot of teams have slipped up this season, so we need to win as many as we can.”
Stamford Bridge feared a repeat of last week’s 2-2 draw with Southampton when Arsenal hit back from their two-goal deficit during a dominant second half from Arsene Wenger’s side.
It was vastly different before the interval when the movement and passing of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar taught the Gunners a lesson with Mata scoring and Frank Lampard converting a penalty.
Cahill insists fatigue is taking its toll with Chelsea having already played 38 games this season.
“It’s demanding because you want to go into a game feeling 100 per cent - that is your best chance to get the best result and play at your best,” he said.
“But at the minute it’s impossible to feel 100 per cent fresh. It’s difficult but we can’t use it as an excuse.
We dug in and got the result against Arsenal and sometimes you need to do that - against Southampton we didn’t.
“We possess the players to hurt teams - consistency is the key.