Cahill hungry for success

Crystal Palace

Former England captain Gary Cahill says he has a "burning desire" at Crystal Palace this season.

The central defender spent 2018-19 as a high-paid spectator at Chelsea after being left out in the cold by former boss Maurizio Sarri.

Injuries saw Cahill fall down the pecking order and he was unable to force his way back in with the Stamford Bridge outfit.

He made just two Premier League appearances, amassing a total of 21 minutes of football over the course of the season, and unsurprisingly left Chelsea upon the expiration of his deal this summer.

Crystal Palace moved to sign the 33-year-old on a free transfer but he’s yet to make his debut due to a lack of match fitness.

Cahill didn’t join Palace until late in the summer and therefore failed to get a decent pre-season programme under his belt.

After a poor start to the campaign, Palace could do with some extra experience in the backline and Roy Hodgson will undoubtedly be eager to get the former Bolton man in his starting XI.

The Eagles lacked organisation in their loss to newly-promoted Sheffield United at the weekend and Cahill could be the answer to boost their survival hopes.

Indeed, Cahill certainly doesn’t appear to be lacking motivation after admitting he is desperate to put prove his worth at the highest level once again.

“I’ve got a burning desire to win football matches and play consistently well at the highest level, first of all for me and then hopefully I can rub off on the players and staff around me and try and push the club in the right direction,” Cahill told TalkSport.

“That’s the pressure I need to put on myself.

“I need to be as hungry as ever, which I will be because all I need to do is flip my memory to last year to give me that fire in my belly to perform.

“I’m more than ready to go now and I’m looking forward to the season.”

Hodgson has deployed Martin Kelly and Scott Dann in the heart of defence for their opening two games of the season.

The pair have struck up a decent partnership, having only conceded once so far, but at times against the Blades they looked a little lost.

They will know that their position is at threat with Cahill waiting in the wings and any mistake could spell an end to their run in the starting XI.