Eden Hazard believes failing to qualify for the Champions League might not be so bad after all for Chelsea.
The Blues are 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham with just six games togo of the Premier League season after slipping to a 1-1 draw at home to West Ham United on Sunday, April 8, 2018.
Chelsea have won just three of 11 league matches in 2018 with their ambitions of a top-four finish now relying heavily on Spurs or Liverpool slipping up between now and May 13.
And yet Hazard has suggested that it would not all be doom and gloom were Chelsea – the reigning top-flight champions – to miss out on reaching Europe’s premier competition for the second time in three seasons.
That’s because the last time they missed out on the top-four, in 2014-15, they followed it up with a title success in Antonio Conte’s first season the following yar.
And while the Belgian vowed that he and is team-mates will give their all still to qualify for the Champions League, he insists the west London club can look on the bright side if they do miss out.
“I hope, for the Chelsea fans and ourselves, that we can achieve something,” Hazard told Chelsea’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 and qualify] for the Champions League, for sure.”
Hazard feels that Chelsea did all they needed to do to beat West Ham at the weekend but accepts that they let themselves down with avoidable errors as they failed to find a way past Joe Hart To extend their lead before Javier Hernandez’s equaliser.
He said “When you see the game, we did everything, especially in the first half.”
“This season isn’t going well, we made some mistakes and conceded a goal. Then, in front of goal we didn’t score, so that’s it, at the end of the game it’s 1-1 and we are all sad.”
“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.”
Hazard also rued the repeated mistakes that the Blues have made this season; taking charge of games but failing to capitalize on their superiority.
He admitted: “This season a lot of the games have been the same. I remember away at Manchester United, we were in control of the game and in the end we lost.
“Last week against Tottenham, we were in control in the first half and then we lost the game. So this season isn’t going well. We need to work together.”
Chelsea are next in action when they face Southampton – also their FA Cup semi-final opponents later this month – in the Premier League this Saturday (12.30pm).