Chelsea need to tighten up, insists Cahill

The 26-year-old feels the Blues' attacking threat makes them serious contenders domestically and in Europe, but only if they can quickly improve their defensive record
Gary Cahill believes Chelsea must shore up their defence to become serious contenders both domestically and in Europe.

The former Aston Villa and Bolton centre-back insists the Blues have the attacking talent to match any team in the world but admits they are being let down by a leaky backline.

Often paired alongside David Luiz, Cahill commonly finds himself as the last line of defence and says he sometimes feels more exposed than he perhaps should be.

"There are times when things aren't as tight or you feel a bit more exposed than usual," he told The Guardian.

"The other night, against Shakhtar Donetsk, I was thinking: 'Wow, this is a bit end-to-end.' But, for the neutral, it was great to watch. And with the players we have, would people be happy if we were just winning 1-0 every week? At least this is entertaining."

Chelsea seem to have gone into matches this season with the aim of simply outscoring their opponents. While this may have been a fruitful plan so far in the league, Cahill suspects it is not a game plan on which to base a title challenge.

"The first thing the attacking players in the team think about is hurting the opposition and getting forward," he added.

"Our style is more attractive than people thought last year but it's all about winning games and being disciplined at times. We could have done better in terms of discipline over the last two or three weeks and some of the goals we conceded could have been prevented.

"As a defence, we have to strive for that clean sheet while also giving the attacking players the licence to go and create.

"We've got some defensive midfielders who sit in there, which really helps, but sometimes, when you are so attack-minded, you are going to get hurt.

"We have to learn to get back behind the ball when we lose it, and do that without taking anything away from our offensive players. Juan, Eden, Oscar ... the list goes on and they'll make things happen.

That's working well. It's about balance: you don't want to be too rigid but we just need to tighten up a little bit. It'll take a while to gel. The team's young. I was one of the oldest players out there the other day, which was hard to believe."