Cesc Fabregas says Chelsea are seeking the right balance in the Carabao Cup by granting players opportunities while targeting the trophy.
Fabregas’ 41st-minute strike proved decisive in Wednesday night’s 3-2 win over a Derby side managed by Chelsea’s record goalscorer Frank Lampard.
The Spaniard won the League Cup with Chelsea in 2015 when he was a mainstay of Jose Mourinho’s first-choice line-up.
And, although he has fallen behind Jorginho in Maurizio Sarri’s pecking order, Fabregas wants to take his chances when he gets them, including in the League Cup.
“When I first started, Arsene (Wenger, then Arsenal boss) always gave young players a big chance in this competition, and that’s why you see a lot of young talent in it,” Fabregas, whose goal was his first of the season, said.
“And then when I first came here, with Jose, the first target was to win the League Cup.
“If you win a trophy in February it gives you a lot of confidence for the rest of the season, and I agree.
“You have to take it seriously, and it’s a good opportunity for the whole squad to compete.”
Two players who did little to press their claims for further action were Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen, who were central figures in an all-round shaky defensive display by the Blues. Christensen was replaced by David Luiz in the second half.
Chelsea assistant boss Gianfranco Zola said: “I thought Gary and Christensen could have done better in the first half.
“Normally their distribution is better. That’s the complaint. But we’ll go through this.”