Ballack urges Chelsea players raise games

Michael Ballack has called on every player at Chelsea to raise their game - including himself.

The German midfielder, 31, has struggled to make an impact since his free transfer from Bayern Munich 18 months ago.

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Chelsea have a long injury list which includes skipper John Terry and will lose stars like Didier Drogba to the African Nations Cup this month.

After Tuesday's Carling Cup victory against Everton, Ballack said: "We all know what is expected of us in the next few weeks, including me.

"But it is not down to just one player. Every player has to push on a little bit.

"I want to give my best for the team and the most important thing is that we have stayed together and united and strong in such a difficult period, when we've had so many players out.

"Over Christmas we kept on winning and we've started the new year well too.

"I've always tried to take the responsibility on board and into my game but especially since I've been back from injury.

"I think we have a good squad and we will show that in the next few weeks."

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