Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Oscar clam despite busy schedule

Oscar concedes the next week may very well define Chelsea's season

Chelsea playmaker Oscar believes the Blues are in for a week like no other as they prepare to play four games in nine days.

First up on Saturday is a Barclays Premier League trip to Southampton before an FA Cup quarter-final replay against Manchester United on Easter Monday with Rubin Kazan visiting west London in the Europa League next Thursday and Sunderland to contend with three days later.

Oscar, 21, says it is normal to play several games in quick succession at a big club but admits this kind of fixture pile-up is new to him. "There are so many games at the moment, and all of them are important," he said.

"We have Southampton first and then Manchester United 48 hours later. But that is the way it always is at a club like Chelsea. We always have a lot of games, though maybe four in a week - as we have this week - is a bit different."

Interim manager Rafael Benitez has rotated his squad as much as possible with Chelsea already racking up 53 games so far this season.

The Spaniard will have to do the same over the coming weeks as Chelsea chase success in the FA Cup and Europa League and search for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Oscar believes recuperation time will be important but that no game will be taken lightly.

"We have to play and rest as best we can," he added. "It is a week that could be really important for our season. We have games in all three remaining competitions, but we're not thinking that one could be more important than the other.

"We want to win all of the games and we want to do as well as we can in all the competitions. We won't sacrifice one for the others."

The fixtures continue to roll in for the Blues even after they face Sunderland, with a gruelling round-trip to Moscow for their second leg against Kazan coming before what could prove to be a decisive league clash with top-four rivals Tottenham.

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