Following yesterday’s setback at Old Trafford, Gary Cahill says the key is for the team to react in the same manner as we did following the defeat to Crystal Palace at the beginning of this month.
In his assessment of the game against Manchester United, the defender admitted we were well below our best from the opening exchanges and that frustrated him.
‘We expected them to start fast and we had to try and control that, and we never did,’ Cahill said.
‘We didn’t click. It’s disappointing. We tried to work hard in the second half, tried to push and create, but we were below the standards we’ve set. We weren’t at the races and it makes us a bit angry. Let’s hope it’s an off day and it doesn’t cost us too much.’
Cahill did point out Man United’s first goal should not have stood following a handball by Ander Herrera. He also explained what was going through his mind when he helped Marcus Rashford to his feet moments before Herrera netted the second goal.
‘I was nervous, 50/50, as to whether it was a penalty or not. It came across and I grabbed hold of him. It was instinct to try and pick him up. In hindsight it probably looks silly now, but I had the instinct that the sooner I got him up on his feet the sooner it stops the referee thinking otherwise. It was irrelevant for the goal.’
Now Cahill is firmly turning his attention to the busy and crucial final few weeks of the season, starting with Saturday’s meeting with Tottenham at Wembley.
‘We have to react in the right way,’ he stressed. ‘We have to dust ourselves off and prepare for a huge semi-final, and then we go again with some important home games coming up.
‘There’s only six games left, and we are still in a good position. We need to realise it’s not over, we need to realise there are points to play for, and we have to dig in. No-one is going to give us this league, we have to work for it like we have done for the majority of this season.
‘We reacted after Palace, we bounced back with two wins so it’s a similar thing. We have to go again. We are still in a great position.’