Cech: Wilkins exit not to blame

Goals from Nedum Onuoha, Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck earned

Sunderland their first away win of the season and sent Chelsea

tumbling to their first home defeat since last March. Sunderland

outplayed the league leaders throughout and Chelsea coach Carlo

Ancelotti labelled their poor performance as the worst since he

took charge last year. Chelsea were without captain John Terry with

a back injury and Alex (knee) and their replacements Paulo Ferreira

and Branislav Ivanovic could not cope with Welbeck and Gyan.

Wilkins was told last week by chief executive Ron Gourlay that his

contract would not be renewed but Cech claimed the defeat had

nothing to do with his shock departure. “There are things that

happen in football everyday,” said Cech. “Managers come and go and

first-team coaches and players can leave suddenly. “So we are all

used to things like that. But it’s not an excuse. It was just that

our performance wasn’t up to standard. We didn’t play well as a

team. “We gave them too much space. We were not good enough in

attacking play, we were not good enough at defending as a team –

not just individuals. “We changed the back four but it is

everyone’s mistake. We were not compact enough. We were all over

the place and that’s why they had those chances and took them. “We

tried to do our usual job at home – but it wasn’t to be and they

profited from how we didn’t play. “We gave them a lot of space and

they used that well to create good chances, attacking play and in

the end they got the goals.” Chelsea failed to test Sunderland

goalkeeper Craig Gordon while Steve Bruce’s side looked capable of

scoring with every attack. Terry’s injury has kept him out of the

England squad for the friendly with France, but the captain insists

the squad must move on from the departure of Wilkins. “Ray has left

the club and everyone is sad to see him go,” said Terry. “It was an

unexpected decision but we have to move on and stay calm. “Ray’s

been brilliant since he came in, from day one, not only as a coach

but as a man as well. “Ray was a great person to have around the

football club, he would pick you up when you were down and, if

there was a problem for any players or staff, he would be the first

one to call them to make sure everything was okay and to ask if

there was any way he could help. “All that came alongside his

knowledge and coaching ability on the football field.”