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28 Juli 2008

Coach defends Chelsea’s tour of Asia

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Coach defends Chelsea’s tour of Asia

MACAU, July 27: Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has defended the club’s Asian tour after reports emerged of backroom unrest among players unhappy with the rigorous pre-season trip.
The newly installed coach said the three-stop Asian swing, followed by a four-team tournament in Russia, was vital as he builds towards Chelsea’s August 17 league opener.
Chelsea strolled to a 7-0 win against hopelessly outclassed Chengdu Blades late on Saturday after thrashing Guangzhou Pharmaceutical in mid-week. They play in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday and then head to Moscow for the Railways Cup.
“This is match training for us,” Scolari said.
“I’m building my team for the Russia games and after Russia I will have my team for the first match against Portsmouth.”
Scolari was speaking after British media reported several senior players were angry at touring the sweltering and far-flung Asian venues just weeks before the new season.
The two-week tour represented “the worst possible preparations for the season,” a source told The Sun.
“Some players have been unable to sleep and don’t know if they are coming or going,” the source added.
Winger Joe Cole, who struck twice in the rout of Chengdu Blades, admitted the team found conditions difficult but said they owed such trips to their fans.
“It’s hot and it’s humid but I think for professional players at a club like Chelsea, it’s our responsibility to come out and play,” Cole said.
“These fans pay a lot of money to come out and buy our shirts and give great support. It’s our opportunity to come out and play football and give something back.”—AFP
If you wanna see video of Chelsea Malaysia Tour 2008 Press Conference click here