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Jose brands seedings as 'silly'

By Tom Adams - Created on 5 Aug 2006


Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has hit out at the seeding system that has left the two-time Premiership champions ranked in the second group of clubs for the UEFA Champions League.


The London outfit face getting another of Europe's top sides in their four-team group for Europe's biggest competition, with rivals Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United all placed in the top echelon.


The forthright Mourinho has taken umbrage at the ranking system, although the Portuguese boss pledged he was looking forward to testing his all-conquering Blues against the best the continent has to offer.


"We are second seeds," said Mourinho. "There are four English teams in the competition and I don't remember when Liverpool were English champions.


"Manchester United were four years ago, Arsenal three years ago but Chelsea were champions for two consecutive years.


"We are second seeds and that's silly but that is Uefa's criteria.


"I don't go against it, I just enjoy it because we will play some very good teams in the group stages.


"Barcelona, Real Madrid and possibly Milan and Inter are in the first pot so it's very enjoyable to have a big team."


The charismatic Blues boss is also unhappy with Chelsea's pre-season preparation, or lack of it, as they prepare for their first friendly match against MLS All-Stars.


The Premiership champions have been unable to get their pre-season campaign underway due to the large number of their players that participated in the World Cup, and Mourinho is concerned about the effect a lack of practice will have on his side.


"We have a big disadvantage in relation to other teams because some opponents they have already four, five, six matches," Mourinho told Sky Sports News.


"We have not even one minute of competition. We start late because of the World Cup."


Meanwhile Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips has insisted that exiting Stamford Bridge was never in his mind during a difficult first season with The Blues.


The England international struggled for first-team opportunities after his move from Manchester City last summer, but the tricky midfielder says he is committed to making a success of himself under Mourinho.


"I never thought about leaving," said Wright-Phillips. "It never even went that far.


"I am only 24 now and I am not thinking about going anywhere."

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