Chelsea skipper, Azpilicueta says they are proving life after the Belgian international left for Real Madrid last summer
Chelsea were not favourites to finish in the top four with new boss Frank Lampard taking over a club who were banned from the transfer market and lost their most valuable player Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
They won their Premier League restart match against Aston Villa with a 2-1 scoreline.
The Spanish skipper urged his teammates to not lose focus and finish the job of securing their position for the remainder of eight games for Champions League qualification.
Azpilicueta said: “We lost a very important player, of course, but we had a challenge, we started in pre-season and we’ve worked hard.
“Maybe people didn’t expect us to be where we are but if we are there it is because we deserve to be there.
“We’re in a good position. Now it’s time to finish the job. It’s in our hands. It’s up to us to take it and finish where we want to finish.”
He added:“We have to be in the top four after the 38 games. That’s when we have to be there. Also, we have missed a lot of chances to be even higher.
The Spanish star also added: “The main focus is ourselves. We have it in our hands and we can only depend on us.
“But when you see teams dropping points that means the gap can be bigger and we have to take our chances. We are three points behind Leicester now.
“We focus on ourselves. We know we can improve. We still have a lot of games in front of us and they will come very quick and so we have to be ready for them.”