Eden Hazard has attempted to play down Chelsea’s likely failure to qualify for the Champions League by claiming that missing out could be a good thing.
The Blues are out this season’s competition and unlikely to book in place in next term’s unless one of the teams above them in the Premier League collapses.
A 10-point gap on Tottenham Hotspur directly above has Chelsea preparing for life in the Europa League in 2018-19, but Hazard believes that – much like last time out – his side can use it to their advantage as key players will likely be rested for the much-maligned competition.
“I hope, for the Chelsea fans and ourselves, that we can achieve something,” he told the club’s official website. “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.
“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.
“But we will play [to try to qualify] for the Champions League, for sure. We need to work together. There are six games left to play in the league and we will try everything to be in the top four at the end of the season.”
Chelsea could yet finish down in sixth place, as Arsenal have produced a strong of form and are now just three points behind.