Chelsea need to win the FA Cup to ‘rescue’ their season after seeing their Premier League campaign fall flat, according to captain Gary Cahill.
The Blues are fifth in the table but beat Southampton in the semi-finals on Sunday to seal their spot in next month’s Wembley showdown with Manchester United.
It is Chelsea’s last chance of silverware this season but Cahill feels the FA Cup can turn what has been a bad season into a good one under Antonio Conte.
‘The league has not gone as expected,’ Cahill said. ‘We realise that history says to win it back to back and keep winning the league season after season is very difficult.
‘We have not managed to do that this year so if we did manage to win the FA Cup it would somewhat rescue the season.
‘No point shying away from that. It’s a huge trophy. A trophy that people dream about winning. It is a big trophy, it’s a big deal.
‘We are in the final so another final to look forward to and this is what football is all about – trying to reach finals and trying to win trophies and we have an opportunity to do that.’
Cahill has struggled to hold down a first-team spot under Conte at times this season and England boss Gareth Southgate even left him out of his squad.
The 32-year-old has not given up on going to the World Cup and said: ‘Football is a bit of a roller coaster. I don’t like to sit on the bench and think it would be worrying if anybody said otherwise.’I’ve enjoyed success and feel like I’ve been a big part of success. I’ve not been winning trophies and not being involved. I have been involved heavily.
‘You don’t just disappear and turn into a bad player overnight. Form, if you ride it out, you come back to the levels you should be at.’
Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud says Chelsea still feel Tottenham can be caught in the league after his fine opening goal helped them see off Southampton on Sunday.
‘I know what a great feeling it is to win the FA Cup and I want Chelsea to know this,’ said Giroud, who won it twice with Arsenal. ‘It has been a tough season but we can finish strong.
‘As long as it will be mathematically possible we are not going to give up (on catching Spurs). We are going to fight until the end. We dropped a lot of points but we still are in the race.
‘Let’s do the job and after we will see what the opponent does.’