Kenyon- 'Drawing Barca was inevitable'

August 24, 2006

Chief executive Peter Kenyon insisted Barcelona were not the only side they had to be wary of after being drawn against the Spaniards in the Champions League for the third successive season.

But although there is almost certain to be a keen edge to their meetings in this year's competition, Kenyon was keen to stress the dangers posed by Group A's other sides - Werder Bremen and Levski Sofia.

Two years ago on their way to the semi-finals, Chelsea eliminated Barcelona, but the Spanish giants gained revenge for that defeat by accounting for the Barclays Premiership champions last season.

Kenyon admitted there was a sense of inevitability they would meet Barca for a third time but after the draw in Monaco, he said: 'We shouldn't overlook the other sides in there. Werder Bremen have had a good start to the season. It's a big group.'

The previous meetings between the two sides in the competition have been overshadowed by controversy but Kenyon insists there is a now healthy respect between the pair.

'I hope people concentrate on the football, which is important,' added Kenyon.

'This is what the Champions League is about at the end of the day. Fans want to see us against the big teams and they don't come much bigger than Barcelona. Let's let the football do the talking in this game.

'I think we've got to concentrate on getting through. Winning your games at the start of the season is important, not only to qualify but it's important to improve your co-efficient and making sure that next year we're in pot one and again improve our chances of avoiding drawing Barcelona,' he told Sky Sports News.

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