LIVERPOOL. — Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has challenged his team-mates to make amends for their frustrating Champions League soccer exit by booking a place in the FA Cup semi-finals. After bowing out of Europe’s elite club competition with a 4-2 aggregate defeat against Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday, the FA Cup is Chelsea’s last remaining opportunity to win silverware this season.
Guus Hiddink’s side travel to Everton in the quarter-finals today hoping to seal a last four berth and remain on course to win the trophy their Dutch coach also lifted during his previous spell as Chelsea’s interim boss in 2009.
The reigning English Premier League champions are in a “transitional period” according to Hiddink, who warned Chelsea must “consider their short-term future” as they come to terms with the prospect of missing out on Champions League qualification for next season.
Even victory in the FA Cup final wouldn’t be enough to completely erase the bitter taste of disappointment from a season that began with Jose Mourinho in charge and many pundits predicting another league title.
But it would at least lift spirits a little and England international Cahill is keen to ensure Chelsea are fully focused when they arrive at Goodison Park.
“We need to refocus as we have one big chance to do something this season and the first hurdle is at the weekend,” Cahill said.
FA Cup quarter-final fixtures
Today: Everton v Chelsea (7:30pm).
Tomorrow: Arsenal v Watford (3:30pm); Manchester United v West Ham (6pm). — AFP.