Marcos Alonso says Chelsea's 2-1 win over West Ham has put the Blues "closer" to the Premier League title, but urged his side to retain their unrelenting "desire" until the end of the campaign.
Tottenham and Manchester City put some pressure on the Blues at the weekend after winning their respective encounters against Everton and Sunderland. However, goals from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa at the London Stadium on Monday night saw the Blues restore their ten-point lead at the top of the Premier League to take another step towards the title.
"We are closer to the target but there are still 11 games to play and we need to think game by game," Alonso told IBTimes UK following the derby. "We have to show the desire we had against West Ham to get it [the Premier League title]."
The win over West Ham has boosted the Blues' moral ahead of the FA Cup quarter-final with Manchester United as Antonio Conte's side chase the double. Alonso admitted that the three-match ban handed to Zlatan Ibrahimovic could also help his side reach the semi-final of the FA Cup on Monday.
"Ibrahimovic absence would be an important loss for them but they are Manchester United," the Chelsea left-back added. "They are a great team and I'm sure it will be a difficult game in our home."
Alonso is yet to play a single minute in the FA Cup this season as Conte has rotated his squad in the previous victories over Peterborough, Brentford and Wolverhampton. The Spaniard said the rest has helped him arrive fresh for the last part of the season, but that he's ready to start against United if the Chelsea boss opts to pick his strongest line-up this time.
"It has been good for me to rest from time to time in the FA Cup," he said. "I'm happy because the team kept winning and that's the most important thing. Now we have a big game against United and let's see [if the manager keeps rotating]. I do not know if I will play. Let's see what the manager decides. I have to recover from the game against West Ham to be ready if the coach decides to use me".
The 26-year-old's impressive form at Chelsea has also sparked suggestions that Spain manager Julen Lopetegui could reward him with a first international call-up this month.
"Only Lopetegui knows [if he plans to include me in the coming squad]," he said. "We'll see. I am happy with my performance at Chelsea and my mind is here, in giving my best in the Premier League and now in the FA Cup. The rest will be just an added value."