Belfast Telegraph

Turnbull answers Chelsea’s cry for help

Chelsea have been plunged into a goalkeeping crisis ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League return leg against Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan.

Chelsea lost first-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech with a calf strain in the 2-1 opening leg defeat at the San Siro and deputy Hilario collected an abductor injury during last Sunday's 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final victory over Stoke.

The injuries have left the Blues with just Ross Turnbull and Rhys Taylor available for today's Barclays Premier League clash with West Ham.

The pair are likely to be on duty against Milan in their return last-16 tie as coach Carlo Ancelotti admits it is unlikely Hilario or Cech will have recovered in time to play.

The loss of Hilario is a real blow for Ancelotti as Turnbull has made just two appearances for the club this season. Turnbull, who joined on a free transfer from Middlesbrough last summer, played in the 4-0 Carling Cup win over Bolton and Chelsea's 2-2 draw with APOEL in this season's Champions League group stage.

“We have a problem with the goalkeepers,” admitted Ancelotti. “We don't know if Hilario or Petr are able to play on Tuesday.

“Tomorrow I want to put the best line-up out because it's an important game. We don't have to think about the Inter game.

“We need to win and go back to the top of the table, so I want to put the best players out. But we have problems. Michael Essien, Ashley Cole, and Jose Bosingwa are out. Also Ricardo Carvalho and Hilario is not able to play. So, in goal, Turnbull will play.

“Cech is doing physiotherapy. He did not train on the pitch, so it's very difficult for him to recover for Tuesday.

“Hilario had a problem against Stoke and has not been able to train this week. An Adductor muscle in his groin is the problem. On the bench will go Rhys Taylor, our young goalkeeper from the reserve team. I'm not worried. The performance of the team does not rely upon the goalkeeper. I don't want to say we can play without a goalkeeper, because that's an important player for the team, but I have confidence in Turnbull.”

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