Saturday 4 April 2015 17:43, UK
Chelsea left-back Cesar Azpilicueta says the club are in "a good position" to finish the season by winning the Premier League.
Jose Mourinho's side entertain Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday knowing that a win will move them one step closer to the title.
And a fourth Premier League crown would be just reward for Chelsea's impressive league campaign so far, as well as making up for the pain of just missing out on the championship to Manchester City last season.
"We have been top of the table since day one," said Azpilicueta, who was speaking exclusively to Sky Sports ahead of the Saturday Night Football clash with Stoke.
"We kept that position obviously and had very good moments, as well as some less good moments, but we were there still top of the table and this is the strength of the team.
"You can be up and down, but you have to be focused on the target and I think now we are in a very good position."
However, in a season in which a number of Chelsea players have caught the eye, Azpilicueta has once again been one of the Blues’ standout performers - and in one of most competitive positions in the team.
"If you ask every player in every team, they are going to say they want to play and when you do not play, obviously you are not as happy as when you do play," said the full-back, who now has new signing Filipe Luis competing for his place in the back four.
"This is football, everyone wants to play and fight and after, I think the team is better and this is the most important thing. When I watch a game, I am more focused on the players playing in my position because sometimes you see that I can do better and I try to learn.
"I have to go out on the pitch and give everything, to try to fight for every ball, to play and be useful for the team. And obviously when I finish the game and I feel I have given everything and we win, I am happy.
"There are individual battles in the game that you have to win. And after, if we win every one then I think the team will also win."
One battle the Spain international has watched from the sidelines, but will not be getting involved in, is the annual 'Running of the Bulls' in his home town of Pamplona.
"The people who run, they wait the whole year to prepare for this," said the 25-year-old. "They have a special emotion to be there. For them, it is a massive feeling that only they can explain."
When asked, though, how well suited his team-mates would be to the 'Running of the Bulls', Azpilicueta was adamant even twinkle-toed playmaker Eden Hazard would struggle.
"Sometimes, even the best runners fall to the floor!" he remarked with a smile.
Watch the full interview with Cesar Azpilicueta on Soccer Saturday from 12pm on Sky Sports News HQ and Sky Sports 5 HD.
Tune in for Chelsea v Stoke live on Saturday Night Football, 4.45pm, Sky Sports 1 HD.
Watch the game for £6.99 with a Sky Sports Day Pass or visit www.nowtv.com if viewing from a mobile device.