The room fell silent.
Every player was suddenly rendered mute by a question they’d never had to answer before.
I stood at the front door with a marker pen in hand and a flip chart beside me, ready to write. A few feet away stood the Chelsea manager and my boss, Carlo Ancelotti. The two of us were waiting; expectant.
It was the night before the 2010 FA Cup final, when Avram Grant’s Portsmouth were set to provide the last remaining obstacle in Chelsea’s attempt to win a first Premier League and FA Cup double in the club’s history.
Less than a week earlier Carlo and I had celebrated in the dugout as these now muted players secured the league title with an 8-0 thrashing of Wigan on the final day of the season. But in the back of our minds we were already thinking about Wembley.
“This is the last game of the season. We know what we’re able to do and we know the opposition. What do you think the tactics should be?”