Saturday, November 1, 2008


Joe Cole is ready. He's not 100 per cent but he gives the chance for me to put him in tomorrow. Didier Drogba come with us and goes on the bench.'

Cole was forced off in the second half versus Hull, after feeling a problem with his ankle. Drogba has been out for a month with knee and ankle damage but has trained for a week.

Balancing the good news was the assessment of Ricardo Carvalho's hamstring problem.

'For two weeks he will not train and after one month, he plays for us again.

'When I bring back one, I lose another,' Scolari shrugged. 'This is my time so far in Chelsea.'

Despite losing a central defender, calling England Under 21 international Michael Mancienne back from loan at Wolves will not be considered.

'I can play with Terry, Alex, Ivanovic and if I need to Paulo Ferreira,' Scolari listed. 'Now is the time for Mancienne to play six months in another club because he needs to play more than here. In the future, it is better for us.'

Needless to say it is three points that the manager is really seeking on Saturday rather than any token revenge over his opposite number - and points totals are playing a part in his strategy he has revealed.

'In my opinion, we are only one point from what I thought before. We have 23 points, I was thinking 24.

'I am happy with my players because they try very hard every game. Sometimes they make a mistake but this is normal. Not only the players but me and all people in life make mistakes.

'We made mistakes against Liverpool and we lost the game. I am thinking about the number because I have the statistics of the last five championships. I follow this because it is my first time in England. If we have 24 in this time, it would be fantastic.'

His projected target for the end of the season is remaining private.

'I know the number and the players know the number,' Scolari smiled.

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