Malouda admits Wilkins effect

Chelsea star says club will get over departure

Malouda: Wilkins issue

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Florent Malouda admits that the departure of Ray Wilkins from Chelsea has been a 'big strain' on the club.

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Since Wilkins' departure in November, the club have seen their form deteriorate after picking up just six points from a possible 21.

French ace Malouda acknowledges that Wilkins leaving has not been easy, but they are working hard to get back to form.

"Ray was close to the players and in training he was involved in the animation of the sessions," he said.

"It was a big strain to see him leave like this and we were not prepared for that.

"I first heard what had happened in the afternoon when it was announced. It was a shock.

"What we need is stability and obviously the players cannot react to this decision. We can't use it as an excuse and the fans do not want excuses for why we have not been winning but good performances to turn it around.

"That is the way you have to be in life and sport. What we need is good performance to turn things around and say 'that happened, maybe that was a poor run,' but afterwards we have to react and carry on."

Form

Malouda admits coach Carlo Ancelotti is working hard on recapturing Chelsea's form.

"He is trying to bring back serenity at the club because we are not used to those kind of results," added Malouda.

"In the past year-and-a-half we were successful and suddenly we are on a poor run.

"When it is like that you still have to carry on and work and believe in what you do. So that's what he is trying to do, to speak to the players and try to find out the solutions.

"Our motivation is to defend the title and to stay top. This year, though, there are seven or eight teams up there fighting. One result can make a difference of two or three places.

"Look at what has happened with Manchester City. They were in a bad moment and then are level on points with the leaders. The team that has the most consistency will win it.

"We will have to fight on a few front. City are there now, Arsenal, United, as we know and teams like Tottenham are pushing from behind. So we have to be at our best. But if we are at our best I think we can win it."