Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill has claimed he was the man behind their recent break from training, and told Antonio Conte the players needed to get away and recharge.
Conte has been fighting to keep his job this season, and Chelsea’s results have been far from acceptable by their standards, and it seems that Cahill himself realised that – and spoke about the intense training the side do, which is something many players have reportedly had issues with this season.
He spoke to Standard Sport and said: “I mentioned the idea of taking more days off to the coach. I just felt that there were a lot of bad feelings around the place.
“It was important for everyone mentally to get away. Sometimes it’s unhealthy to be in the same environment all of the time, especially when there is a lot of negativity around for whatever reason.
“This was the first time I could remember this season that we had a free week in between games. I thought it was a great opportunity to mentally freshen our minds up and physically freshen the bodies up. Everyone knows we do a lot of physical training on top of the games we are playing.
“So to take ourselves away from the surroundings, for partners to be with their family and kids, gave us that distraction so that we could come back and refocus on the job.”
The FA Cup game is a huge one for Chelsea, because not only will it allow the club to focus on a trophy they have their best chance of winning this season, with the Premier League out of sight and their loss in the Carabao Cup at the hands of Arsenal, but manager Conte has also claimed he thinks it can be key to beating Barcelona.
That’s because the confidence the Blues can get from a win over Hull can go forward with them into the Barcelona game – and secure victory for them.