Deco backs Scolari, confident Chelsea will be league championsJanuary 1st, 2009 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS
London, Jan 1 (IANS) Chelsea’s Portuguese football star Deco Wednesday played down rumblings in the English Premier League club and said he saw only good times ahead in the new year at Stamford Bridge.Coming to the resuce of his beleaguered manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, who is under fire for the poor recent form of his team, winning only one of their last four matches, drawing the other three as they bade farewell to the old year.
Deco, who enjoys favoured status at the West London club, is confident that Chelsea will overhaul Liverpool’s three-point lead League by the close of the season in May.
He said Chelsea have not been at their best in the last few matches and missed some chances to be at the top of the table. “But by the end of the season we will finish as champions as the most crucial phase of the championship is from now on.”
As for Scolari, Deco said he has not changed, he is still a strong man and is the same coach as he was at the start of the season, when everyone was praising him.
Chelsea have lost only four of their 28 matches in all competitions this season. They were defeated by Liverpool and Arsenal in the Premier League and Roma in the Champions League. Although they drew 1-1 with Burnley in their Carling Cup fourth-round tie in November, they lost the penalty shoot-out 5-4.
Reports, though, have suggested that Scolari is struggling to maintain harmony among the players who are strong, diverse and vocal. It has been cited as a major reason for the team’s below par performance of late.
After the 2-2 draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage Sunday, the Chelsea players were given Monday off. They returned to their training ground in Cobham, Surrey, the next day to prepare for their FA Cup third-round tie at home to Southend United Saturday.