GOALKEEPER Ali Al Habsi says he is looking forwards and not backwards after Wigan Athletic’s narrow 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The on-loan Bolton keeper was in fine form throughout the game as Latics narrowly missed out on a crucial point.
To make it even harder to take was the fact that the only way he was beaten was when he was fouled by Chelsea striker Fernando Torres.
The ex-Liverpool man appeared to push Al Habsi away with his elbow during a goalmouth scramble which led to Florent Malouda’s decisive goal.
“It was a punch from Torres,” said Al Habsi. “It was disappointing. I think the draw would have been a fair result for both teams.
“We deserved something last week and we deserved something this week again.
“We can’t do anything now – we can’t think about it, we have to think about the next game and we should know exactly what we need from that game.
“Chelsea is gone now and we have everything in our hands against Blackpool, Sunderland and Everton.”
Latics were strong in defence against the champions and from that were allowed to counter attack well in the second half. But before the break they had been even better.
Commanding the play, they had the better of the chances but once again they couldn’t find the back of the net.
When Latics’ defence was breached though, Al Habsi was there to repel any Chelsea advances. Were it not for two stunning saves in particular, Torres would not be entering his 13th hour without a goal since moving to Chelsea in January.
Al Habsi was delighted with the effort shown by Wigan’s players and believes it sets a strong foundation for what will be six vital games to save their season.
He added: “We concentrated and gave 100%, the whole team but in the end we lost the game. It’s not easy to come here and play Chelsea.
“It’s very disappointing because we came here and we showed ourselves and had some good chances but in the end we didn’t score.
“We have to take the good things and move forward.”
While a win for West Bromwich has given them a strong chance of avoiding the drop, West Ham were thumped by Al Habsi’s parent club Bolton, and Birmingham held Blackburn to a draw.
It leaves Latics very much in the frame to survive with the only games remaining being against fellow strugglers or teams with little to play for.
Next up is Blackpool, which Al Habsi describes as the biggest game of the season so far. “Maybe the other results helped today,” added the 29-year-old.
“We go now into what will be the biggest game of the season for us against Blackpool.
“We need something for the fans because these last six games will be huge for us. I hope they will be behind us for the next two away games.”