Chelsea news

Ba braced to fight for his place

February 19, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Corresponent

Demba Ba has told French radio station RMC he will thrive on the competition for places at Chelsea, promising: "I won't let myself be pushed around."

Demba Ba nets Chelsea's opener against Southampton
PA PhotosDemba Ba: Signed from Newcastle during the January transfer window

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Ba, 27, left behind the relative certainty of being a first-team regular at Newcastle United for the fiercer competition for a starting berth at Stamford Bridge in January.

After a flying start to his Chelsea career, which brought three goals in four appearances, Ba has frequently been used interchangeably with Fernando Torres as the side's frontline striker by coach Rafael Benitez.

However, far from feeling sorry for himself, the Senegal international insisted having to fight for his place in the side would bring out the best in him.

He said: "Everywhere you go, it's there. It will always exist. I'm at one of Europe's biggest clubs. Each year, they're going to bring in a striker, that's part of football.

"It's what makes you better if you take it the right way. I work, I know what I can achieve. If they buy a new forward, it'll help me improve. I won't let myself be pushed around."

Ba's unconventional route to the European champions certainly backs up his claim. Rejected by a number of Ligue 1 clubs at the start of his career, the French-born forward took a circuitous career path via unfashionable teams like Belgian outfit Mouscron and Bundesliga upstarts Hoffenheim before bouncing back from the blow of a failed medical at Stoke City to taste success at West Ham United and Newcastle.

His current status - he believes - is fully deserved. The forward said: "There is a logic to everything. When you work, you always get to where you want to go. I look at the work I've put in with my fitness coach and watching videos of my performances.

"The more you watch yourself play, the more mistakes you put right. When I look at the work I've put in in the last six or seven years, I'm not surprised I can do such things now.

"I've always tried to play in L1, and it's never come off. When I left Newcastle, the whole of Ligue 1 went there. I think I'm not made for Ligue 1."