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Former Chelsea player and assistant coach Ray Wilkins has criticised Diego Costa, doubting both his current threat in font of goal and work rate in Wednesday’s Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev. 

Speaking on talkSport, Wilkins, who left the Chelsea coaching team in 2010 just a few months after the team had won its first double under Carlo Ancelotti, called for Jose Mourinho to drop the Spain international in favour of Loic Remy.

Wilkins said this:

“He is not a goal threat at the moment. Jose got the hump with him because there was a ball played in from the right hand side and he didn’t get across the near post. 

He went beserk at him, Mourinho, because he was not working hard enough to get into scoring positions and I thought that he was loose. I think it is time to leave him out and bring Remy in. Remy will always score a goal.”

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NEMANJA MATIC
Nemanja Matic was a key player for Chelsea last season © Francesca Ceciarini

Nemanja Matic admits it will be strange to play without Jose Mourinho on the bench against Stoke tomorrow but that the team will be prepared for it.

The Portuguese yesterday lost an appeal against a one match touchline ban following misconduct during Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat away at West Ham in which the Blues boss was sent off from the dugout.

Matic, who did not play in Chelsea’s recent League Cup exit at the hands of Stoke City, says that the players will have to rely on the assistant coaches for guidance but insists they will cope.

The Serbia international had this to say to the Express ahead of the trip to the Brittania Stadium:

“I’ve been here almost two years now and we have not played without the coach yet, so it is going to be strange, but this is football and we will be ready.

“Of course it is easier when the coach is on the bench, especially at half-time when he can say something. Sometimes when the game is stopped and there is a foul, he signals with the hands and you know what you have to do, but if you are playing on his side of the pitch you can hear him!

“We also have other great coaches here, and they will be prepared for everything. We have to be ready.” 

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The 21-year-old summer signing Baba Rahman says that all Chelsea players stand behind and play for their manager Jose Mourinho and the club.

Rahman told Chelsea official website:

”The game was tight and the win was very good for the team and for the fans and we are all happy”

”We play for the manager and for the club and we just want to fight for the club, and now we are looking to take this form into the Premier League”

”I don’t think it has much effect on the players because the manager tells us what to do and everyone believes in the manager and we are doing what he tells us.”

”I felt the togetherness the first day I came here and the guys received me very well. As you can see on the pitch when a goal is scored we are together”

Rahman revealed that he was complemented by his team-mates after his performance against Dynamo Kiev yesterday:

”They are saying I did well and I should keep it up and improve. I am doing quite good but I think I have to improve my game and we will see what happens.”

 

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Asmir Begovic believes that the Chelsea players will be able to cope with the absence of Jose Mourinho during Saturday’s match against Stoke City. At the same time he assured that he and his team did not give up the fight for the top four in the Premier League.

Begovic said:

“We are looking to get back-to-back wins regardless. It’s something we need to do. ”

”We had a little run last month when we had three in a row and that put us in a good position. We want to try and put results together in the League. Beating Kiev was a good start and, hopefully, we will carry on from here. There will be a different mood in training when we report back today. The atmosphere is always good after a win and the manager will have us well prepared for Saturday.”

”We haven’t given up on a place in the top four even though we are 10 points behind.  We know we are a good team and once our form clicks we will push up the League very quickly. We have to take it step by step and pick up those points.”

Speaking about yesterday’s win over Dynamo Kiev and forecasts for future matches in the Champions League, he said :

“It was a big win against Dynamo and puts us in a good situation with a couple of games left in the group. We will get confidence from it.”

“It’s in our hands now and that’s all you can ask for. We feel confident with the two games we have left we can get the job done to get to the last 16 and then we go from there.”

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JOSE MOURINHO WEST HAM
Ex Chelsea boss José Mourinho will return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, this time as Manchester United manager © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is convinced that the FA’s decision to ban him from Stoke’s stadium on Saturday will motivate his players to win.

The FA punished the Special One for clashing with referee Jonathan Moss. Everything happened two weeks ago during half-time of the defeat at West Ham. As Mourinho has decided that he will not appeal the decision, he will not be able to communicate with his coaching staff and even be present at Britannia Stadium.

However, Mourinho surprised everyone by saying that the decision of the FA can help his players and motivate them to win.

Mourinho said:

”I think they [the players] will know I am with them. They know I am going to prepare the team until the moment they go to the game.”

”They know that during the game the action of the manager is not so crucial and I think the fact they know why I am not on the bench is also important for the group”

 

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Chelsea centre back Kurt Zouma insists that Jose Mourinho is not the only one responsible for Chelsea poor start to the season. What is more Zouma claims that dressing room morale remains high and there is no conflict between the Special One and his players.

Zouma said:

”There is no tension and no players are speaking against each other,”
”The mood in the dressing room is always good. We are all together with the manager and we want him to stay.”
”It’s not his fault because he’s not on the pitch. We have to think about our game.”

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Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho © Francesca Ceciarini

Former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti who was linked with a potential Mourinho’s replacement at Chelsea has denied all the rumours and praised the Special One calling him the ideal man for the job. What is interesting, the Italian coach did not rule out a return to the Premier League in the near future but definitely not at Stamford Bridge.

Ancelotti told the Evening Standard:

“Me at Chelsea? That’s just talk. Mourinho has difficulties, it’s true but Chelsea have confirmed Mourinho’s position. Chelsea have the perfect coach to solve problems,”

”Where do I see myself? In football you have to be ready to go anywhere. I felt fantastic abroad and would prefer to continue abroad,”

”The English league has always fascinated me a lot because it was good when I was there but I’m willing to go anywhere.”

 

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Jose Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes has no doubt that the Special One will remain in charge of Chelsea.

Even if the Portuguese coach position has come under threat after Chelsea’s disappointing start to the Premier League season, the Blues fans have continued to back Mourinho. Also his agent claims, that the Special One will stay at Stamford Bridge because he is simply the best.

Mendes told the BBC:

“He doesn’t need to prove anything to anybody.”

“He knows what to do. Many people are saying these things but there is no chance [he will leave]. He will solve the problem. He is the best”

“At Porto he won the Europa League, the league, the Champions League. After that, in Chelsea he was amazing. He won the League [in 2005] and everyone was very happy with him.”

“At Inter Milan, nobody expected Inter could win the Champions League. Even the quarter-finals seemed quite impossible. At Real Madrid against the best team in the world he still won the league [in 2012]. He is special.”

“The reaction from the supporters tells you everything. They like him.”

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rio ferdinand terry

BT pundit Rio Ferdinand says Chelsea must improve further if they are to get their season back on track following last night’s 2-1 win over Dynamo Kiev.

The former Manchester United centre-back, who won the Champions League when the Red Devils beat Chelsea in the final in 2008, thinks the Blues can get back to their best but that there is still some way to go.

He told BT:

“When you’re confident and you’re on a good run of form, and the players and match winners are lively, when you go a goal down you get the ball out of the net, put it on the halfway line and think ‘We’ll score now, we’ll get back in the game'”.

“That is the difference and that is what they have to recreate find now. That comes through playing games, winning and going a goal up and controlling the game rather than panicking and just trying and get over the line.”

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Chelsea midfielder Willian says last night’s match winning free-kick was one of the best he has ever taken but insists he must keep working hard if he is to keep up his impressive form so far this season.

Willian’s strike minutes from the end of the game earned three precious points for Jose Mourinho’s side. The Blues now have seven points in Group G, three behind leaders Porto as they now have their Champions League destiny in their own hands.

The Brazil international spoke to UEFA.com after the game:

“I need to keep working hard and trying to improve my game.

“I’m very happy, I have been working on my free-kicks a lot and this was one of the best I have ever taken. I have to continue working hard. Dynamo scored a goal but we kept playing and got a second goal to win the game. That was good and we have to build on that.”

Chelsea’s next Champions League match will be away at Israeli side Maccabi Tel-Aviv where another win will ensure qualification.

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