Chelsea will be out to prove they are still a good team when they face Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday evening, Gary Cahill has insisted.
The Blues are sitting in the bottom half of the Premier League but have picked up form since Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho.
And Cahill knows they have to earn the right to play on the biggest stage as they face a side they have taken on in the previous two competitions.
The Chelsea defender said: “We have to prove that we're a good team and good players on the biggest stage. Everyone talks about wanting Champions League football and they want Champions League.
“We got through the group and are facing PSG. It's massive. We all realise, the players at the football club, that it's a big competition and a big game. I had experience of going all the way and it lives with you forever.”
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Chelsea's current situation has shades of 2012 as the Blues struggled in the league but excelled in Europe.
But Cahill insists that is not what is going through his mind and his focus is purely on the job the Blues must do in the French capital on Tuesday.
He added: “I remember thinking at the time that we're going to have to win this to get back into the Champions League.
“I think it was about the next game and the next game. We can't look too far beyond because that's where you slip up.
“You have to focus on the first game. As I said, it's half a game, if we get a half-decent result over there, realising that they're 20-odd points clear in their league waiting for this game to come around.
“They're near enough done in their league so they're waiting for this game and we need to be aware of that and approach it in the right way.”
Chelsea warmed up for the fixture by dismantling a feeble Newcastle side by five goals to one and Cahill was delighted with the display.
The defender added: “The confidence in the camp is high. Everyone knows we've got a massive week this week with arguably two of the biggest games of the season coming up.
“It's great that we've started with a result like that and the performance as well. It was enjoyable to play in today.
“It was one of those days today. We've not had too many like that this season. It sets us up nicely but we've not got too many days to enjoy it before we're back.”
“For me, it was so good because I went in at half-time thinking we could have had two or three more.
“We did everything right attacking wise and defensively, I can't remember Thibaut having too much to do because everyone worked so hard.
“What was pleasing was the amount of times we quickly got the ball back after we lost it to go again. That was everyone.
“The workrate was there which is the platform for everything to build on and the flair players had a good afternoon.”
But, he tempered that by adding: “It's one game. It was very pleasing to be a part of the result but it is one game and we know how difficult PSG are going to be.”