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Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Chelsea stars vow to put things right in Cup

Chelsea have vowed to put right their recent mistakes and get their campaign back on track with FA Cup victory at Southend on Wednesday night.

Blues manager Luiz Felipe Scolari accepted following the comprehensive 3-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester United on Sunday - watched by former boss Jose Mourinho - that his side are not playing well enough to secure silverware of any description come May.

The Brazilian, though, insists the remedy does not lie with simply bringing in new faces during the January transfer window, rather in more hard work on the training ground.

Chelsea head to Roots Hall for their third-round replay in search of a first win since Boxing Day - and defeat would provide both a massive upset and heap more pressure for Scolari.

However, the squad remain determined to avoid any more slip-ups.

Midfielder John Mikel Obi said: "We are football players, top football players - and no one likes losing. You get things going wrong like this, and it depends how we get on with it and try to fix everything right now.

"In this time we have to show our strong character, remain as a family and get things right. It helps to have a game so soon. It is a good game to go out and make sure we win.''

Defender Ricardo Carvalho feels the players must stand up and be counted.

"We have to mark our men. This time we didn't mark our men, and goal after goal it is getting worse for us,'' the Portugal international told Chelsea's website. "Our mistake (against Manchester United) was the corner, and we conceded a goal in the last minute of the first half.

"After that, it was difficult to react. We tried, but the second goal killed us. We are conceding too many goals at set-plays. We have no pace; we are a little bit slow. But we have quality in this squad.''

Striker Nicolas Anelka, meanwhile, maintains Chelsea's season is very much still alive - despite the fact they are four points adrift of table-toppers Liverpool and only one in front of Sir Alex Ferguson's men, who have two games in hand.

"The fans have been frustrated by our recent results, which is logical,'' he said. "As far as the players are concerned, we have not been happy with some of our games.

"The positive point is that we are still on course for the treble. We understand it's going to be massively tough, but everything is possible.''

Scolari accepts Chelsea - with captain John Terry available again at Old Trafford following a three-match suspension - must recapture their defensive unity.

"Losing goals at set plays is not something we accept. We train very hard to try and stop it happening,'' he said. "Set-pieces have been a problem. In the first 15 or 20 games we were fantastic. I don't know why it has changed.

"Maybe I need to change the system, because something is going wrong. It is my responsibility.''




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