London – Gary Cahill reckons Chelsea are showing the character required to pull off a second successive away victory at Stoke City on Saturday and so increase the pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal.
Jose Mourinho's side came from behind at Sunderland on Wednesday to pull off a 4-3 victory that kept them in second place, four points behind London rivals Arsenal.
With Arsene Wenger's side due to face in-form Everton at home 24 hours after Chelsea have visited the Britannia Stadium, the clash with Stoke presents an opportunity for the Blues to close the gap, however temporarily.
And after struggling on the road at times this season, centre-back Cahill believes his side is now showing the resilience to pull off the away victories that could determine the destiny of the title.
“It's something that we have spoken about before and it's something that we have looked to address,” said the England defender.
“Our home form has been so good and if we can do the same away as we have done at home then it will be great.
“We went behind against Sunderland early on and it's not ideal, but again we showed character. It was a tough game, especially after (playing Southampton on) Sunday, but it's all about trying to win games and we did that in the end, so we're pleased.”
Cahill knows the battle to be champions could go all the way this season and he believes the title-winning experience of manager Jose Mourinho and senior players including Frank Lampard, John Terry and Petr Cech will be invaluable to Chelsea.
“It's very tight at the top. All we can do is keep trying to win. We did that against Southampton and at Sunderland we went away from home to a team that is fighting and made it very hard for us, but again we got the win.
“Jose's experience will definitely help us this season. I've won cup competitions but I've never won the league, and it's one of my goals that I'm aiming to achieve.
“We've got players that have won the league a few times. They've got a lot of experience to give the younger players like Eden Hazard, and we can all take confidence from them.”
On paper, Chelsea should secure three point at Stoke but City midfielder Charlie Adam insists his side have the quality to upset Chelsea despite their miserable run of form.
Wednesday's goalless draw with Cardiff meant the Potters have still claimed just one Premier League win since August.
Mark Hughes's team spurned a host of chances against the Welsh club – much to the frustration of their manager, who wants a new striker in January.
Although the draw moved Stoke up to 14th, Hughes will be concerned with his team having triumphed in just one of their last 11 matches in the league – leaving them four points above the drop zone.
“We have to keep doing what we are doing and the breaks will come,” Adam said. We have good enough players.
“We have a tough game against Chelsea coming at the weekend but we will make it difficult for them.
“If we just keep working hard the penny will drop for us. The commitment is always there.
“On Saturday we got beat by a better team on the day in Everton (in the 4-0 loss) but against Cardiff we showed we want to fight for the jersey.” – Sapa-AFP