The strength of Chelsea’s fringe players will determine whether the club win the Premier League this season, according to reserve striker Loic Remy.
The French international scored the last goal in Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur after being brought on by manager Jose Mourinho as a second-half substitute.
Remy and Didier Drogba, who was also on target for the runaway leaders, both showed they were worthy replacements for suspended leading scorer Diego Costa.
“We know the quality of Diego,” Remy told the club website (www.chelseafc.com) on Thursday. “He is a really good striker and Didier and me showed we can be without Diego.
“But we need everybody. The squad being strong makes the difference between us and other teams.”
The former Queens Park Rangers striker described the 36-year-old Drogba, who hit 157 goals in his first spell at Stamford Bridge and is back this season for a second stint, as “a legend”.
“Everybody knows him here and the way he is playing at the minute is very good,” said Remy.
“He helps the team, he is not selfish and he scores some goals. He is amazing so I have to take my example from him.”
Remy has scored three times in nine appearances, six coming from the bench, since joining from west London rivals QPR at the start of the season.
“I just feel really proud to be on the bench but of course I want to play, that is why I work hard during training sessions,” he said.
“We have three good strikers and the others show me a good example, they are very professional, and for me it is a real pleasure to play with this kind of player.
“I try to increase my level and improve and it is really good to work with them and every time the manager wants to use me I try to do my best,” said Remy.
“There are a lot of games coming so I am not worried about staying on the bench. We are in all the competitions so we need everybody and for me it is important to be ready when the opportunity arises.”
Costa will be free from suspension when Chelsea, who are six points clear of second-placed Manchester City, travel to Newcastle United on Saturday.