Wilkins: Time for Torres to knuckle down

Former Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins believes now is the time for Fernando Torres to knuckle down and make an impact for the Blues.

The Spaniard failed to hit the target in the club's 4-0 win over Kitchee of Hong Kong, despite having ample time on the pitch to find the net.

Torres saw one effort ricochet off the outside of the post but otherwise never looked like getting on the score-sheet, meaning the 27-year-old has now bagged just once in 21 games since his £50 million move from Liverpool in January.

Wilkins believes now is the time for the former Atletico Madrid and Liverpool striker to prove his worth and force his way into the Chelsea starting XI.

“I think he's got to start showing a bit of personality as well,” Wilkins told Sky Sports.

“It's all very well us sitting here saying he's lacking a bit of confidence but to get out of that situation, you've got to step your own game up as well.

“I don't really see him working extremely hard to step his game up; he's got to show a bit of personality now because this is a difficult period.

“If you can't score against the likes of Kitchee or even have a chance - OK he hit the post but that was one he hit from 25 yards - you've got to show a bit of character.”

Wilkins also believes that Daniel Sturridge, who replaced Torres in the second-half of the encounter before adding the Blues' fourth of the night, will remain as fifth-choice striker at Stamford Bridge, despite excelling on loan with Bolton Wanderers last season, where the England Under-21 international hit eight league goals.

“This young man can literally be what he wants to be because he does have a lot of talent,” he said.

“There's no question Sturridge can do a good job, but you've got Nicolas Anelka to come back in as well, so you've got Nico, Torres and [Didier] Drogba as your three main strikers and just under that you've got Salomon Kalou, so he's fifth-choice as a striker really.

“His best position would be on that right-hand side, coming in on that dangerous left foot and creating havoc. He's physically strong, he's got a great left foot and we saw him score a very good goal [against Kitchee].

“There's no reason why he shouldn't cause a few problems for the others.”

Chelsea will come up against fellow Premier League side Aston Villa in the final of the Asia Trophy on Saturday and Wilkins is looking forward to seeing the defence tested against Alex McLeish’s side after a relatively easy performance against Kitchee.

“It was good,” Wilkins said of the Blues' performance.

“They scored a couple of goals and Kitchee couldn't even get out of their own half because Chelsea put them under so much pressure. It was a good workout for them.

“They're going to get a proper test on Saturday having watched Aston Villa; they're much stronger and faster than Kitchee.

“I think it will be a good game; you saw how competitive the first game was between Blackburn and Villa and I think that competitiveness will be there on Saturday.

“They will have to defend for periods on Saturday afternoon - and we'll see how well-equipped they are to do so.”

By Ben McAleer