Chelsea’s Gary Cahill: It’ll be sink or swim against Bayern Munich
Chelsea's Gary Cahill admits it will be a case of "sink or swim" for the defender in the Champions League final on Saturday
Gary Cahill has admitted it will be a case of “sink or swim” for the Chelsea defender if he deputises for suspended captain John Terry against Bayern Munich on Saturday.
The 26-year-old is expected to partner David Luiz at centre-half in the Champions League final at the Allianz Arena, with Terry serving a ban after receiving a straight red card for lashing out at Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez in Chelsea’s semi-final second-leg triumph at Camp Nou.
Cahill, who joined in a £7m deal from Bolton Wanderers in January, is relishing the chance to play in the final of Europe’s premier club competition despite his lack of experience.
“Yes [my first final is the biggest of them all],” said Cahill.
“It’s sink or swim. But you come to big clubs to be a part of that. We’ve got a great chance now to lift one of the best trophies in club football so we need to work hard and hope everything goes to plan on the day.”
The former Bolton vice-captain admitted Chelsea will need to wary of Bayern’s attacking talents, including ex-Blues midfielder Arjen Robben who spent three seasons at Stamford Bridge.
But Cahill, capped eight times by England, insisted Roberto Di Matteo’s side can cope in the absence of Terry despite the defender’s lack of experience when it comes to playing alongside Luiz in a centre-half pairing.
“I think it will be alright,” he added.
“I’ve played there before. He’s a fantastic player like I said already, and he’s a Brazilian international. I don’t see that being a problem.”
England manager Roy Hodgson named Cahill as part of his 23-man squad for the European championship in June, but the Chelsea centre-half insisted risking injury against Bayern which could force him out of Euro 2012 has never been a concern.
“My focus is fully on the Champions League final,” said Cahill.
“It has been since I picked up the injury to get myself back for it. That’s not changed. My focus is fully on the game in Munich and after that I’ll assess it and go from there.”