Chelsea defender Gary Cahill says he's had to fight for everything in his career.
Developing mental toughness and the tenacity to deal with every challenge and set-back has been drilled into 26 year-old Cahill. Mainly because his career hasn’t been a straight-forward fast-track to glory.
Cahill told the Sunday Mirror: “I have never had a silver spoon in my mouth. I have had to work hard for everything that I have achieved.
“I feel I have earned what I have got – and I am still learning. You are bound to do that when you train every day at a club like Chelsea and the internationals you work with. I have also learned that you should never take anything for granted. Never. That is why I will never stop trying to improve.
“I have needed mental strength over the years.
“I have had to suffer a few knock-backs. I had two loan spells playing in the Championship, with Burnley and Sheffield United. That helped me, made me tougher I think.
“All through my career, I have been learning my trade wherever I have been. The hardest thing in football is to prove to people that you can make the next grade up.”