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Mar 25, 2013

Luiz: Chelsea can still finish strong

Chelsea defender David Luiz believes the club still can fight for silverware despite not 'playing at the level' expected of them.

Chelsea head into the final part of this season's campaign a massive 19 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United with only nine games remaining in their season.

• Lythell: Chelsea keeping quandary

But the Blues are still in the hunt in for both FA Cup and Europa League glory and the 25-year-old Luiz said he and his team-mates believe they can still make this season a success.

"I think we are not playing at the level expected from Chelsea and not doing so well this season but in any case I believe we are because we are still competing for three titles," Luiz said.

"We can still win the Europa League, are still in the FA Cup and fighting for a better position in the table so I think we can still get there and this season can still be very good."

Luiz returns to Stamford Bridge on Monday, lining up for Felipe Luis Scolari's Brazil as they take on Russia in an international friendly.

The match also marks a form of homecoming for Scolari, the Brazil manager returning to the club he managed for seven months before being dumped by owner Roman Abramovich.

However, Scolari said his time at the Chelsea helm did not paint a true picture of managerial prowess.

"I believe my time at Chelsea was not as bad as people have been talking about," Scolari said.

"I don't think (I was given enough time) but it was a decision from the management."

And Luiz agreed with the Brazil boss, indicating Scolari will appreciate the chance to again the prowl the Stamford Bridge sidelines.

"Mr Scolari is an excellent professional. He has been a coach in many clubs all over the world and also national teams," Luiz said.

"I'm sure he is happy to come back here because regardless of what happened here he has very good memories.

"He has got history here as well so I believe what he wants here is to put the cherry on the top of the cake by winning the game at the stadium where he was manager.

"When somebody doesn't do well everybody outside always talks about the negatives not positives.

"What I have heard, having asked around, is Scolari had a great time, regardless of what happened."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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