Eden Hazard called on his Chelsea teammates to try to salvage something from their disappointing season after Sunday’s 1-1 draw with West Ham United.
A late strike from Javier Hernandez cancelled out Cesar Azpilicueta’s first-half opener at Stamford Bridge to snatch a valuable point for the visitors, leaving Chelsea 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with only six league games remaining.
Qualification for the Champions League now looks to be a remote possibility, and speaking after the game, Hazard admitted that Chelsea are paying for making the same mistakes time and again.
“When you see the game, we did everything, especially in the first half,” Hazard told Chelsea’s website. “This season isn’t going well. We made some mistakes and conceded a goal. Then, in front of goal we didn’t score, so that’s it. At the end of the game, it’s 1-1 and we are all sad.”
Hazard said he and his teammates need to come together over the final six games of the Premier League and that they “will try everything” to finish in the Champions League places.
“This season, a lot of the games have been the same,” Hazard said. “I remember away at Manchester United, we were in control of the game and in the end we lost. Last week against Tottenham, we were in control in the first half and then we lost the game, so this season isn’t going well. We need to work together.”
Antonio Conte said Chelsea must now be “realistic” about their top-four aspirations and captain Gary Cahill conceded that Tottenham are unlikely to slip up, so Hazard is looking to the FA Cup to try to provide some cheer for supporters.
“I hope, for the Chelsea fans and ourselves, that we can achieve something,” Hazard said. “We still have the FA Cup to play for so we need to bring this trophy to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.”
Missing out on the Champions League for the second time in three seasons will affect Chelsea, but Hazard highlighted the potential positives of another exile from Europe’s elite club competition.
“When you play for Chelsea, you want to be in the Champions League every year but last year we didn’t play in it and we won the title, so sometimes a bad thing can create a good thing,” he said. “But we will play [to try to qualify] for the Champions League, for sure.”
Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.