Chelsea's home truths are telling, says Petr Cech after improved display

It was fitting that the most difficult save Petr Cech had to make came late on from an inadvertent header by César Azpilicueta. These days Chelsea tend to be their own worst enemies. But Cech, who tipped his team-mate's misguided clearance over the bar to ensure they clung on for a deserved victory, says the club are coming together to ensure they do not sabotage their season. That, he explains, means everyone must be allowed to tell home truths.

The vigorous exchanges that took place between players and staff at Chelsea's training ground last week are not, claims Cech, evidence of a club in turmoil but rather one with a healthy craving for success. For the Czech, who has won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a European Cup since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2004, anyone so fragile as to be destroyed by constructive criticism has no chance of being champion.

"We had a lot of success thanks to the honesty and open mind everyone has in the dressing room," he explains. "Everybody should have a chance to express an opinion and, if the players are not happy in our dressing room, it is not the case that we say: 'Unlucky, mate, we will carry on, you pick yourself up.' No.

"If someone is not happy, we try to help them to be happy again and to be at the top and be very good for the team. This is why, when we see something is going wrong, people have the right to express themselves and say we think this is wrong. We should improve that, we need to try to find a different solution."

That approach, stresses Cech, is intended to reinforce the manager rather than revolt against him. "Obviously we have only one boss, that is the manager and it is up to him if he wants to listen to what the players say or find his own way to go through. It helps because communication is a very big part of a football club.

"If you have wrong communication, even in your relationship, it can fall apart. So this is where we try to give the feedback, it is important for the coach to know the feedback, to do more or less, but there is only one boss and it is up to him what to do."

Cech says the discussions that followed the defeat by Manchester City last week led to the improved displays against Middlesbrough and this win over West Bromwich Albion, which was secured by Demba Ba's first-half goal. More still needs to be done.

"We try to stick together, to find solutions, to work hard and to get through the difficult moment every time," he says. "This is the moment when we are not doing exactly as we want to do but we are willing to change the situation. Everyone – coaching staff, us – are trying to change the situation."

For now Chelsea's priority is to resist challenges from Tottenham and Arsenal for a top-four league finish and advance further in the FA Cup and Europa League. In the summer they will bring in a new manager, unless there is an improbable change of heart with regard to the interim Rafa Benítez, who remains unloved by most of the club's supporters even if only a handful protested against him on Saturday following his grumbles about them in midweek.

Many doubt that chopping and changing managers is beneficial in the long-term but Cech suggests that a look at the club's roll of honour since he arrived himself suggests it is not being run too badly.

"You can argue with a lot of things but in the same period of time we won more or less the same number of trophies as Manchester United," he says. "They had one manager, we had eight, and we won the same trophies. We had the Champions League, there are so many positives.

"Arsenal had the same manager and it is a long time since they won something. Maybe if you asked them if they would rather have 10 managers and six trophies I don't know what they would say but it is always relative. We do it our way, the other clubs do it their way and it seems to work so far, so long may it continue."

So who would Cech like to see take up the reins when Benítez leaves in the summer? Would he welcome back Jose Mourinho? "We had a fantastic success with him so why not, he is a fantastic manager. But I hope whoever comes to take the job will have better luck and that he will stay. I have been saying that for six years, I hope the new manager will find the momentum and he will stay."

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