WE KNEW beforehand that Middlesbrough was going to be tough, they have plenty of experience and are packed full of quality and it turned out that way. They had chances on the day but that happens in football, at times you have to ride your luck and when you face good teams they will create chances. We took our chances, Jermain scored a fantastic goal and I'm sure everyone went home happy.
WE HAD mixed feelings after Blackburn on Wednesday night. Okay, we weren't particularly happy with the performance but then again, we've gone to Ewood Park, a tough place, not played as well as we can and still come away with a point and a clean sheet. We have to take something positive out of it. We've set ourselves high standards and perhaps that's why we were disappointed.
CHELSEA on Saturday and we both go into it not having conceded a goal - let's hope we come out of it with our record intact and them conceding a couple! They are champions and worthy champions at that and this will be a tough, tough game. We know our form at home is very good and we'll be confident of going in and playing some good football.
I'VE BEEN asked what it is about Chelsea and what makes them such tough opponents. My answer is goalkeeper, defence, midfield and attack! They have great players in every starting position, on the bench and then the rest of the squad as well. Joe Cole wasn't involved against Arsenal but then comes back, plays and scores against West Brom. That sums it up and shows the depth at Stamford Bridge.
CHELSEA'S win at Wigan on the first day of the season was an indication of just why they are champions - they didn't play well but came away with the points and that's all the matters really. You can't always play well and get three points. I'd happily play a little under par and take three points every week. Ideally, you want a great performance as well. People have said Chelsea are not quite firing yet but they've won three out of three, beaten Arsenal and scored four against West Brom in midweek - what will they be like if they do start firing? Having said all that, we're confident and determined to perform well in front of our fans.
IT'S ALWAYS a bonus as a defender to keep clean sheets and we've managed to do that against Middlesbrough and Blackburn this week. Three clean sheets in three games, two wins and a draw - it's a good start. Three wins out of three would have been nice but I think we'd have taken this a couple of weeks ago.