LONDON: Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic hopes a late season flourish can make amends for the champions’ dreadful start to the current campaign and put them in contention to break into the Premier League’s top four for Champions League spots.
Chelsea lost nine of their opening 16 league games, which cost manager Jose Mourinho his job in December.
However, since Mourinho’s departure, Chelsea have gone on a 12-game unbeaten run in the league under interim manager Guus Hiddink.
It has given them an outside chance of chasing down fourth-placed Manchester City, who are eight points ahead with a game in hand.
“We’re a big team and we have to do this if we want to be closer to the first four. It’s very difficult to catch them, but we’ll try our best to win every game,” Matic told the club’s website (www.chelseafc.com).
“I think we can be in the first six, but we will try to win every game. I know it’s difficult, maybe impossible, but in football anything can happen.
“We will go game by game, step by step, and we will see in the end where we finish in the league.”
Fresh from their gruelling 2-1 league victory over Norwich City on Tuesday, 10th-placed Chelsea host Stoke City, who are seventh, on Saturday.