ONE IN, ONE OUT FOR HULL
Luiz Felipe Scolari will be without goalkeeper Petr Cech against Hull on Saturday, but is pleased to welcome Ricardo Quaresma into his squad.
The Portuguese international signed on loan from Inter Milan on transfer deadline day, and is a player Scolari was keen to bring on board, having worked with the 25-year-old at international level.
'He is a player that has a different style than the other wingers, he is a man that sometimes dribbles more than the other players that we have here,' the manager explained. 'That is the characteristic of Quaresma and in our team now, I think it is important we have one player with this characteristic.'
With many, including Scolari, expecting it to be a quiet transfer window for the Blues, the last few hours brought a very pleasant surprise.
'It really was a surprise because he moved from Porto to Inter this season, but when I heard it is possible to loan him I was very happy and asked the board to try, and they gave me the player that I want,' Scolari said, speaking exclusively to chelseafc.com.
'On Monday morning I spent three or four hours on the telephone, I spoke to the player, because many clubs wanted him, and I tried to say to Peter Kenyon that it is important for me to get this player, because I lost Joe and we sold Wright-Phillips. We are trying to build Miroslav Stoch but he is young and needs more time, so it is very good news.'
The bad news though is that Cech will be absent after taking a knock at Anfield last Sunday, and will be replaced in the line-up by number two Hilario.
'In the game against Liverpool some player kicked him in the back, he completed the game, but after this he feels a lot of pain and it is impossible to play tomorrow, and I think with the national team on Wednesday,' said the Brazilian.
'I believe in Hilario because he is a very good goalkeeper, it is not a problem for us. I have a good squad and I believe in all the players, so it is not a problem.'
Elsewhere on the injury front, Ricardo Carvalho remains sidelined with hamstring trouble, but is expected to be ready in the next 10 days having just begun running outside.
It has been a strange week in which to prepare for a Barclays Premier League fixture. First came the snow which prevented training at the beginning of the week, followed by work inside the all-weather dome and then at Stamford Bridge, before a return to the Cobham pitches on Friday morning.
'The training is different in this time,' Scolari shrugged. 'We needed to change the training, we don't have a pitch one day or two days but after we train at Stamford Bridge it is very well, we train in the dome it is very well. We mix some training, we change some things but it is not a problem for the game.
'I think the players like the training in this situation. They understand and Cobham has been a beautiful place to look at but for training it is dangerous.
'I don't want training many times at Stamford Bridge because maybe we will kill the pitch and I want the pitch in good condition for when we have a game, but when we are training there this week it was good for us because we are adapting for tomorrow.'
One bonus Scolari can lean on after a difficult few days is the availability of Frank Lampard, sent off against Liverpool before seeing his red card rescinded on Tuesday.
'It is very good for us because all the people in England and the world looked at this situation and all the people understand it is not a tackle for a red card. Only the referee understands different. I am happy because I have Lampard to play but all the people need to be thinking about this,' he said.
Scolari's own attention will be on one of his former players at Stamford Bridge tomorrow. Hull's Geovanni played under the Chelsea manager at Cruzeiro in Brazil before moving on to Spain, and is a talent that will need to be watched.
'I worked with Geovanni for one year, he was a scorer for us as a young player, but in the middle of the year we sold him to Barcelona. I know him very well, he is a good boy, and from long distance he shoots very, very well. If he plays we need to watch him and don't give chances to shoot from long distance because he is fantastic,' he said.
'They have Geovanni, but also others who play well. I looked at the schedule, and they play away many times better than at home, they are more confident sometimes away, and we need to respect this team.'
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