Revenge over Charlton not an issue for Chelsea

COBHAM: Chelsea meet Charlton Athletic today with no thought of revenge for their League Cup exit earlier this season, simply a ruthless desire for a victory which would maintain their 16-point Premier League lead. 

The fact that Charlton are the only side to have beaten the league champions at home in nearly two years has no bearing on the game, midfielder Eidur Gudjohnsen said on Friday. 

The Iceland stalwart, who predates the affluent Roman Abramovich era and has worked under three managers at Stamford Bridge, repeated the Chelsea spin that they were not beaten by Charlton last October, a game they only lost on penalties. 

“I don't think there's any feeling of revenge. It's just three points to keep the gap. The (League) Cup disappointment is behind us now,” Gudjohnsen told reporters. 

Chelsea, last year's League Cup winners, have not lost at home in any other competition since February 2004 against Arsenal.  

Asked to sum up why Chelsea were so far ahead of the chasing pack, Gudjohnsen said: “Consistency ... we seem to be that bit more resilient. We lost one (against Manchester United at Old Trafford in November) but bounced back with 10 wins on the spin and that shows our character.” 

Mourinho, ever assertive, switched him from the striking role he fulfilled under Gianluca Vialli and Claudio Ranieri to a deeper position with the words: “You'll play where I need you to play,” Gudjohnsen recalled. 

The Icelander quickly added that he was happy in either role and had been pleased with his success in creating rather than scoring goals.  

Gudjohnsen faces more competition from new Portuguese loan signing Maniche, a player that Mourinho has said will feature on Sunday. 

British newspapers have reported Chelsea are looking at alternatives to their Stamford Bridge home in a fashionable corner of south west London, because of planning problems in expanding the ground's capacity. 

Chelsea sought to quash rumours of the move, saying in a statement: “Only after all possible scenarios for the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge have been exhausted can a debate start about other options”. 

“I can't see us leaving Stamford Bridge in the near future,” said Gudjohnsen. – Reuters 

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