Monday, September 14, 2009



Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho insists the Blues must forget about the absence of banned Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa and concentrate on ending their Champions League hurt.

Chelsea's squad has been ravaged by suspensions and injuries as they prepare to begin their Champions League campaign against Porto at Stamford Bridge tonight.

Midfielders Deco, Joe Cole and Yuri Zhirkov are all missing through injury as are defenders Paulo Ferreira and Alex.

But Carvalho, who will partner John Terry at the heart of the defence once again, insists they must forget about the bans handed out to Drogba and Bosingwa by UEFA.

They were both suspended for their parts in the unsavoury scenes that followed the semi-final exit last season when Barcelona scored a last-minute away goal at Stamford Bridge.

Drogba, who screamed foul-mouthed abuse straight down the cameras after Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo rejected four penalty appeals, was banned for four games while Bosingwa received a two-match suspension.

"It is important for us to have all the players available for games but we cannot use this as an excuse if we don't do well," said Carvalho.

"It is our responsibility to win this game. Someone like Didier Drogba is an important player for us, he is doing very well and it is good for the other side that these players are going to miss this game.

"But it is better for us to miss them now than later in the competition."

Carvalho also denied there was a 'siege mentality' at the club after FIFA recently slapped a transfer ban on them until 2011.

The Portugal international is more concerned with ending the heartbreak of narrowly missing out on the Champions League crown in the last two seasons.

"Maybe the fans think it is unfair but the players just think about playing every game and trying to win the games," said Carvalho.

"It hurt a lot when we arrived once in the Champions League final and missed that great opportunity. We were a little bit unlucky and you need a little bit of luck and you need to work very hard.

"To win the Champions League with Chelsea would be really great. I hope this time we get to the final and after that we win it."

Carvalho won the Champions League with Porto back in 2004 and he is looking forward to playing against his old team once more.

"It is always very special to play against Porto because I spent wonderful years there and grew as a player and as a man and I always support them for that," added Carvalho. "It is rewarding to see them do so well in the Champions League and also to be always at the top of the Portuguese League."


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