Cech sets sights on Europa League success with Chelsea

The goalkeeper says the Blues are hoping to go far in the competition while manager Rafael Benitez feels his team are in for a tough evening when they take on Sparta Prague

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech is determined for the club to succeed in the Europa League ahead of their last-32 first leg against Sparta Prague on Thursday.

The Blues became the first-ever European champions to be demoted from the Champions League to its second-tier counterpart following a poor group stage outing in the first half of the season.

And Cech revealed that success in the Europa League is now his side’s main ambition and that it is a competition the club will take seriously.

"We are in the Europa League and need to concentrate on what we can do.” Cech told the Independent. “We can make ourselves happy by going far in the Europa League.

"If we win it, we can also qualify again for the Uefa Super Cup – we missed out on it earlier this season and that was a big disappointment for us.

“The Europa League is a competition you really have to respect."

Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez, meanwhile, has described the Europa League as a "massive competition" and is looking forward to the tie.

“This is a massive city [Prague],” Benitez said. “Massive club and massive competition so we are really pleased to be here.

"We can't change things, the Champions League is a massive competition, but the Europa League is also massive and we play against a historic team.

“For me, I will try to give my players the right message because we know it's going to be tough."