herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Carlo's confident Turnbull won't drop the ball

Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti remains confident rookie goalkeeper Ross Turnbull will not let the Blues down as they prepare to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit to Inter Milan in the Champions League last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge tonight.

Turnbull, who made his league debut for the club in Saturday's 4-1 demolition of West Ham, is set to play only the second Champions League of his career against Jose Mourinho's side.

Petr Cech's calf injury and Hilario's groin problem have conspired to thrust the former Middlesbrough goalkeeper into the spotlight on the night Mourinho makes an emotional return in front of the fans who once adored him.

"It's not possible for Cech or Hilario to recover, so Turnbull will play and Rhys Taylor will stay on the bench like on Saturday," confirmed Ancelotti.

"Turnbull is a confident lad and we have confidence in him. Until now, Cech has not trained so it's impossible that he might play tomorrow.

"Turnbull is a good goalkeeper who has played very well this season and improved every day. Cech has more experience than Turnbull for sure, but Ross is young and has enthusiasm to play. He wants to play and, for him, this will be a great, great experience."

Ancelotti is adamant that his players will not be distracted by Mourinho's first return since being sacked by the club in September 2007.

"I'm sure they're not distracted by his return," said Ancelotti.

"For Mourinho, it'll be a special evening. The fans will give him a very good reception, one he deserves.

"But the match will be another thing. The players are not involved in other things.

"All the Chelsea players and Inter players are focused on the game, an important game. The other things they're not interested in.

"Jose has great experience. He has won the Champions League and won a lot of titles in different countries."

In-form Chelsea winger Florent Malouda insists Mourinho's successful managerial tenure at the club is now history as far as the players are concerned.

Malouda, one of the last to be signed by Mourinho before the coach was sacked, is adamant that the squad, largely constructed by the 'Special One', do not care about the past.

"We are not thinking about the history. We're trying to make history," said Malouda. "What happened in the past, I would say, we don't care. I would say that it's more important for the fans than for us. We, as players for Chelsea, just want to beat Inter. As he's the Inter coach, we want to beat him too."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News