Demba Ba remains buoyant despite enduring 'tough' season at Chelsea
Demba Ba claims motivation has not been an issue for him despite enduring a 'tough' campaign at Chelsea.
Last Updated: 30/04/14 12:15pm
The Senegalese striker found himself well down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge following Jose Mourinho's return for a second spell as manager last summer.
Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto'o have been favoured throughout the season, limiting Ba's involvement in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League.
He has, however, made the most of the opportunities presented to him in recent weeks, with vital goals scored in a European tie with Paris St Germain and domestic tussles with Swansea City and Liverpool.
Ba admits he has found it difficult at times to handle life on the sidelines, but claims to have always remained positive and ready to take his chance when it arrived.
He told the Daily Telegraph: "I've had some tough periods but, at the end of the day, I know that football is what I love doing.
"I don't really need motivation to play. It's always good for a player to be on the field, rather than on the sidelines.
"It's difficult because any time you're going to get your chance, you're not as fit as you should be because you don't have the tempo of the game.
"The less you play it's difficult so mentally you need to be prepared to give everything, more than what you have."
Mourinho has admitted that he will be looking to bolster his attacking options when the transfer window re-opens in the summer, but Ba insists he is not overly concerned by the prospect of added competition.
He added: "Compared to what I've lived in my life, what I've been through, this is nothing. This is like, this is nothing.
"I know myself and when people think I'm not good enough or I'm weak or whatever, I know myself."
Ba's relaxed attitude is shared by team-mate Eden Hazard, the recently crowned PFA Young Player of the Year and a talent those around him at Chelsea consider to be a bit special.
Ba said of the Belgian forward: "Hazard is a nice kind, you know, I like him.
"I'm five years older than him so for me he's like my little brother, and I just want to take care of him.
"Obviously he's a great talent. Something I love in Eden is that he just has his head on the ground and he knows he's a big player, he knows he's one of the best in Chelsea and probably the world, but he's still simple and I just want him to stay like that."