Chelsea caretaker coach Steve Holland has admitted that he feared the Blues dropping into the relegation zone ahead of their Premier League match against Sunderland on Saturday.
The Pensioners ended a miserable run with a 3-1 victory against Sam Allardyce’s Black Cats at Stamford Bridge to round off a tricky week.
Jose Mourinho was axed after defeat to Leicester City on Monday, and while he has been replaced by Dutch coach Guus Hiddink until the season’s end, Holland stepped in to oversee Saturday’s triumph.
Branislav Ivanovic opened the scoring in the fifth minute, before Pedro and Oscar gave the Blues an unassailable lead that was hardly threatened when Fabio Borini pulled a goal back in the second half.
The win takes Chelsea up to 15th in the table on 18 points, four points clear of Swansea City, who occupy the third relegation place.
Had the Blues lost, there was the chance that they could have ended the gameweek inside the bottom three, a reality that was on the mind of stand-in coach Holland.
“I just said that whatever their feelings were regarding the situation, they had a responsibility to the football club and its supporters all around the world,” Holland began, speaking to the media after the match.
“We have quality players and they care, and they had to show that on the pitch. It was a very important three points for the club, if we’d lost the game today, I think we would have gone into the bottom three.”
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