Cahill: Chelsea form ‘not ideal’

first_img Press Association The Blues are winless in four matches after their worst start to a Barclays Premier League campaign in 10 years and on Wednesday night were beaten 2-1 by Basle in their Champions League Group E opener. Saturday’s west London derby with Fulham is an opportunity to make amends as Mourinho’s men bid for a first victory since the defeats of Hull and Aston Villa at the start of the season. “It’s not a disaster but it’s not ideal,” said Cahill, on chelseafc.com, of the Basle loss. “A club like this wants to win the majority of games it plays. “That’s the expectation. It’s a blow but it’s not the be all and end all. “We need to win our next game now, as simple as that. The manager will stress that. “We’ve got the squad to do it, we need to go on now and get back to winning ways on Saturday.” Following a draw at Manchester United, the penalty shootout loss to Bayern Munich in the European Super Cup and last Saturday’s defeat at Everton, Chelsea were expected to dispatch Basle, whom they beat en route to winning the Europa League last term. However, the Blues are now playing catch-up in a group which also features Steaua Bucharest and Schalke, 3-0 victors over the Romanians on Wednesday night. Next the Blues play in Bucharest on October 1. That Basle ended Chelsea’s near 10-year, 29-match unbeaten run in the Champions League group stages made the result all the more remarkable, but Mourinho’s side did not deserve their half-time lead courtesy of Oscar’s goal and the Swiss side’s first win in England at the 11th attempt was only fair. “It’s a big shock really,” added England defender Cahill, who was culpable for loose marking which led to Marco Streller’s headed winner nine minutes from time. Gary Cahill has acknowledged Chelsea must improve swiftly after a less than ideal beginning to Jose Mourinho’s second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge. “We gave them a bit too much room all over the pitch but first half, we looked like we were in control of the game. “In the second half we didn’t quite step it up that level and we paid the price for it. “We played against them twice last year and they’re a very good side. “The onus was on us to step it up and we didn’t quite do that. At this sort of level we get punished and we’re obviously disappointed. “We were in control at 1-0 up, we knew we could go up a level. I’m repeating myself but we didn’t do that and that’s what cost us the game.” Cahill accepted Chelsea’s defensive performance should be assessed closely. “You can always do better, you can always analyse goals and have a look, definitely,” he said. “The back four, goalkeepers, individuals. We’ll have a look at that.” Also to be scrutinised will be Mourinho’s methods, with John Terry left on the bench for a second successive continental clash and Juan Mata brought on only for the final quarter of the fixture, despite the Blues lacking the guile to unlock the Basle defence for a second time. Mourinho’s 62-match unbeaten home record in the Premier League will be at stake when the Cottagers visit this weekend. Fulham have one top-flight win this term and should not be too much of a concern, but Mourinho must find a way to rediscover the scintillating football on show in his first competitive fixture, at home to Hull – and, at times, against European champions Bayern Munich in Prague – if Chelsea are to challenge for major honours this term. Mourinho has emphasised the youth in his side, but the likes of Marco van Ginkel, Oscar and Eden Hazard have been recruited at great expense, and there is still an experienced core including Frank Lampard, Terry, Ashley Cole and Petr Cech, survivors of the Portuguese’s hugely successful first spell in charge. Samuel Eto’o, a Champions League winner with Barcelona and Mourinho’s Inter Milan, has also started slowly and was at times invisible against Basle on his second appearance, while debutant Willian lacks match practice. Despite lacking a cutting edge up front, Mourinho insisted he is happy with his strike options, which also include Fernando Torres and Demba Ba. The trio, and Chelsea, will be bidding for a boost of confidence against their neighbours this weekend. last_img read more

UW coaches provide ‘Miracle on Ice’

first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald photoPerhaps the most overlooked aspect of the Wisconsin women’s hockey team’s success is its renowned coaching staff. The scorers get to rack up the points, the defenders rack up the blocked shots, the goaltenders rack up the saves and wins. And head coach Mark Johnson, on the other hand, gets to provide quotes in addition to many other responsibilities. Johnson is the man who gets to make the final decision, using his experience and instinct to put the best team as possible on the ice while making sure his team is ready to play.As a player for the Badgers, Johnson was the first Badger to win WCHA Rookie of the Year during the 1977 season when Wisconsin won the National Championship. He went on to record 256 points in just three seasons and his 125 goals still stand as a UW record. However, his most memorable accomplishment might be the “Miracle On Ice” during the 1980 Olympics, during which he recorded two goals against the Soviet Union en route to the United States winning the gold medal. Johnson went on to a successful career in the NHL, recording 508 points in 699 games for four different teams.Johnson came back to UW in 1996, when he became an assistant coach for the men’s team. He was named the women’s hockey head coach before the 2002-03 season. Johnson led the team to their first WCHA title and national championship last season, and was rewarded by being named coach of the year.Johnson is responsible for the women’s hockey program becoming one of the elite programs in the nation. Since taking over the women’s hockey team, he has compiled an impressive record of 120 wins, 27 losses and 11 ties, including this season’s 11-0-1 record.”I think the coaching staff is something that goes unnoticed,” senior defender Bobbi-Jo Slusar said. “You really can’t say anything bad about [the coaches]; they come every day and put a lot of time in … I can’t really say enough about our coaches.”The most telling statistic about Johnson’s influence is that the Badgers have set a new record for wins every year he has coached. Last year the Badgers recorded 36 wins, which tied the NCAA record for most wins in a season. Perhaps his most challenging task is keeping his team motivated. While the Badgers are currently riding a 24-game unbeaten streak, Johnson has to be sure they’re prepared and ready to play every weekend. “Johnson is a very experienced person,” Slusar said. “The good thing about him is that he brings a good attitude every day. He’s ready to go and he knows when it’s time to do certain things — when we need to work hard and when we don’t need to work so hard. I think he really recognizes our situation, like if we’re tired he knows what we need to be doing.”Despite Johnson’s strong résumé, the influence of the assistant coaches cannot be overlooked. Tracy Cornell has been an assistant coach with the team since 1999 when the women’s hockey program first started, while Dan Koch started coaching at Wisconsin in 2001. Both have been instrumental in mentoring and recruiting players, building the women’s hockey program into the elite program it is today.”I think with a coaching staff like this, any player in the game could do really well,” freshman forward Meaghan Duggan said. “They’re really good with one-on-one stuff; they come right up to you and tell you what you need to work on.””They bring a positive attitude, [and] that goes a long way, because when I come to the rink I want to have fun,” Slusar said. “And every day I have fun and am having a good time, whether it’s practice or a game, whether we’re winning or losing.”last_img read more