Malouda - Essien the key
Florent Malouda has backed Michael Essien to 'make the difference' in Chelsea's pursuit of silverware.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 16/03/09 11:50am
Florent Malouda has backed Michael Essien to 'make the difference' in Chelsea's pursuit of silverware this season.
Essien has impressed since returning from a serious knee injury and was on hand to net his first Premier League goal of the term last weekend as the Blues defeated Manchester City 1-0.
Chelsea currently sit four points behind leaders Manchester United - who hold a game in hand - in the table, are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and have booked their place in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League.
Malouda said in the Evening Standard: "Of course he can make the difference. We are still trying to win three titles so we know that we will have a lot of games.
"Michael has that spirit, he has worked a lot to come back. I hope he will keep on scoring, help the strikers to score and improve our game.
"It's really important for us to see that after those months he spent working every day, to come back and be fit again is good. You can see his energy, his spirit and commitment to the team.
"He helps the game for the strikers because he keeps on running, gives good balls and yesterday he scored. He has a positive attitude and he gives a lot to the team.
"When you spend five months injured, you want to prove that the time you spent on the sidelines is not lost time. He will help all the players in the squad."
French winger Malouda also believes Liverpool's 4-1 victory at Old Trafford has given United's title rivals a lift.
"There is a big hope for us because of the result on Saturday," he said. "That victory will give hope to the other teams that play United, because even if we win all our games we have to hope they fail and lose points."