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Jose - Chelsea not fit for reds


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Jose: We won't be fit for Reds

By James Pearson - Created on 18 Jul 2006


Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has conceded the Premiership champions are likely to be below strength for the opening stages of the new season.


With a number of The Blues' stars going all the way to the latter stages in the World Cup this summer they will not be fit and ready for the Community Shield after taking a break from the game.


William Gallas and Claude Makelele both played in France's World Cup final loss to Italy while Ricardo Carvalho and Paolo Ferreira helped Portugal to the semi-finals.


Mourinho saw Manchester United field a near full-strength side in their 4-0 win over Orlando Pirates, with only the likes of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo absent.


Chelsea kick-off their season against Liverpool in the Community Shield on August 13 and Mourinho will not have a full strength squad for the game, nor their Premiership opener against Manchester City a week later.


"Manchester United played in South Africa with a first eleven, we cannot do this," Mourinho told Chelsea TV.


"I believe our first part of the season will be quite difficult. For example, when we play the Community, Liverpool have already played Champions League matches and have been training for a month.


"When we play Manchester City in the first game it'll be a very similar situation so I think we won't start in the full position.


"We have a lot of quality and I believe everyone will be back fit with a lot of enthusiasm, but the reality is we have to play with half the team for the first game in the States.


"Some of them will not be ready to play in the Community. It's a competition and it's a cup we enjoyed winning last season and of course we want to win this time around as well, but I'll look at it in a different way."


Sly sports


I think its fair to say neither team will be firing on all cylinders but if he wants to be the so called underdog, so be it, doubt Rafa and the boys will believe a word of it! :popcorn:

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