ESPN FC: Three Lions prepare for crucial qualifiers
Gary Cahill has admitted he is pleasantly surprised to have start the season as one of Jose Mourinho’s first choice centre-backs at Chelsea, and now he hopes to take his game to a new level under the guidance of the celebrated Stamford Bridge tactician.
Cahill has been selected to start alongside John Terry in Chelsea’s first three Premier League games this season and he is drawing confidence from the faith being shown in him by Mourinho.
"For the manager to have picked me at the start of the season has been a real positive," he told reporters at an England news conference ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Moldova.
"As a manager, he has certainly worked with the best and seen the best and I am sure he can improve the team and also individually improve players because he has worked with the best players in the world.
"Obviously, he likes you to work hard. Training is intense and he there is a certain expectation level he has got and that rubs off on the players.
"I’ve still got things I can improve on and I know that and am working hard to get there. The mistakes, sometimes when you’re in a game they do happen. Then it’s about how you respond after that."
Cahill hopes to take his solid club form onto the international stage with England in their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, as he targets nailing down a starting spot in Roy Hodgson’s line-up.
"I know it’s a transitional period [for England]," added Cahill. "John [Terry] and Rio [Ferdinand] had their positions for many years and were both two top class performers. So when they went there was always going to be a void and question marks.
"The more games I get, the more it will help me. I’ve been settling in and feel I can play a big part. That happened at Chelsea and I’m hoping it will happen for the national team. There are people challenging, as there always will be but it gives me confidence that I’ve played in the last few games."