Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Luiz happy to build up the games

Defender David Luiz is unfazed by Chelsea's hectic fixture schedule

Defender David Luiz has no issue with Chelsea's fixture pile-up as the Blues do battle on three fronts over the end-of-season run-in.

The Brazilian insists a hectic schedule of some six games in just 16 days can be met head on. Chelsea will be out to cement their place in the top four of the Barclays Premier League at Southampton on Saturday, before then tackling Manchester United in an FA Cup quarter-final on Easter Monday. They then host Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.

"I love to play games, I prefer to play games than training for sure. I want to play both games against Southampton and Manchester United and I want to win both matches," Luiz told reporters.

"All the games are important to us - you know that at Chelsea. Southampton away is a difficult game, we need to win and after that we have a big derby in the FA Cup. Last year we won the competition, so it is also important."

At one stage, it looked as if Chelsea would be out of the FA Cup having trailed 2-0 at Old Trafford before mounting a stirring comeback which on another day could have seen them go on to win the tie. Luiz accepts it was perhaps a missed opportunity.

He added: "People saw the match and in the second half Chelsea controlled all the game and we had the opportunities to win. I felt a little bit sad, but now we have another game to win. We have an opportunity on Monday. When you do well on the pitch (against them) this gives you a lot of confidence."

Despite a difficult spell, Rafael Benitez's squad are still in with a chance of ending what has been a testing campaign on a positive note should they progress in the FA Cup and on towards the Europa League final. Just who, though, will take charge of the squad next season remains to be seen.

Interim manager Benitez is set to depart in the summer, with reports suggesting Chelsea will turn to former boss Jose Mourinho to take the club forwards.

The Portuguese coach, 50, is currently in charge of Real Madrid and looking to guide the Spanish side to the Champions League title, having knocked United out in the last round.

Mourinho - who left Stamford Bridge in 2007 following three successful seasons - retains a property in London and his daughter is set to take up a place on a course at Camberwell Art College in the next Academic year, further fuelling speculation he was set to return to Chelsea, having now again built up a good relationship with billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.

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