Wembley win can boost Chelsea`s title charge
Eden Hazard believes Chelsea`s League Cup final success can provide the perfect springboard for the club`s Premier League title challenge.
London: Eden Hazard believes Chelsea`s League Cup final success can provide the perfect springboard for the club`s Premier League title challenge.
The league leaders travel to London rivals West Ham on Wednesday three days after beating Tottenham at Wembley to win the first trophy of manager Jose Mourinho`s second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea`s victory came with the added bonus of having been achieved on the same day second-placed Manchester City lost at Liverpool.
That result means Mourinho`s side head to Upton Park five points clear of the chasing pack having played a game less.
And Belgium midfielder Hazard claims Chelsea will resume their bid to clinch the championship for the first time since 2010 with the belief that comes from already having lifted silverware.
"By winning this trophy, we can concentrate on the league 100 percent. It`s always important to win trophies when playing for Chelsea," Hazard said.
"Before the game we didn`t feel pressure or think about the Liverpool-Man City game. Of course when you see the result and that Liverpool won, it is very good for the confidence.
"The season is still long. It is not finished. Manchester City have very good players, they play very well and it will be a war until the end.
"So it is important for us to keep going, we still have a lot of matches."The West Ham meeting marks Chelsea`s last game before they turn their attention towards the next week`s second leg of the Champions League tie with Paris Saint Germain.
And Hazard is keen to maintain the winning momentum through a decisive period in the club`s campaign.
"When you play for Chelsea you have to win trophies and get to the semi-final or final of the Champions League," he said.
"We know it`s always difficult because there are very good teams in it. The first game against PSG finished 1-1, it was good for us. But the tie is not finished and we need to win.
"How far can we go? I hope we can get to the final. We will see. First, we must concentrate on out next game against West Ham."
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is in desperate need of a lift ahead of his team`s daunting meeting with the Blues.
Allardyce has come under growing pressure following a heavy FA Cup defeat to West Bromwich Albion and his position was further undermined by the weekend home loss to Crystal Palace.
That 3-1 defeat left the Hammers in ninth place and Allardyce admits their hopes of claiming a Europa League place are now fading.
"Turning performances into victories is the hardest thing at this level and we`ve really slipped up in that area, especially when we`ve been in great positions to win football matches as well," Allardyce said.
"We`re in very a good position still to qualify for Europe but now we`re letting that slip."
Allardyce`s side were one of the surprise packages during the opening months of the season, but the manager believes the effects of their efforts may be beginning to catch up.
"Maybe some of the players have started to really feel the pace of the Premier League for the first time and are not quite performing as well as before," Allardyce said.
"We`ve got to make sure that we get back together and certainly on Wednesday night now we need to see our very best performance.
"As I say, you can play your very best against Chelsea and still not win and they could still beat you."