Cahill surprised to see Chelsea 'sitting pretty' as leaders

Updated: 

Gary Cahill admits that he did not expect Chelsea to be "sitting pretty" with a six-point advantage at the top of the Premier League table.

A 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace last week stretched their run of consecutive top-flight victories to 11 and ensured that they will enter the hectic Christmas period with a healthy advantage in the title race.

Cahill expected Chelsea to show signs of improvement following their dismal title defence last season, but is surprised at the way they have soared to the top of the tree under the guidance of Antonio Conte.

"It's fantastic," he told Sky Sports. "The mood in the camp at the minute, everyone's spirits are high. Everyone will tell you that playing in a winning team is easier. The run that we're on is brilliant so I hope it continues. We're full of confidence.

"What's going right is a number of things. Obviously people will touch on the change in formation, but there's the way we've adapted to that formation and the players we have in the team, ultimately.

"A lot was made of last year and rightly so. We had individuals, the majority, underperforming compared to the levels they usually set.

"This season we are hitting the levels we should be setting. I'd be lying if I said I thought we'd be sitting pretty at the top of the table, but I certainly would have expected to be up there competing.

"We're in a good place."

Chelsea will set a new club record for consecutive top-flight victories if they beat Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day and Cahill hopes to see his team-mates fired up to make history.

"It's not something we speak about on a daily basis," he said. "In fact, I haven't heard any of the lads speak about it, but we know about it and I'm aware of it.

"Of course you want to be involved in teams that break records and you want to be involved in teams that do well.

"We're aware of it and the Boxing Day game is a chance for us to do that, which should add extra incentive. We want the three points badly and we want the record.

"I'll speak for myself, I want the record. Why would you not? There's three points and a record to go for.

"If you're asking me if I'm going to be motivated for that game, I think we're all in the same boat."