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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan, 10, 2007

Jose wary of challenge of minnow Wycombe

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho insists he will not be taking Wycombe lightly despite smashing six past their Coca-Cola League Two counterparts Macclesfield in the FA Cup last Saturday.

The English champions travel to Adams Park for the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final with Wanderers tonight, and even though Chelsea made light work of the struggling Silkmen, Wycombe are chasing promotion and have beaten Fulham and Charlton to reach the last four.

Mourinho said: 'Wycombe will have big morale and they were not lucky on their way to this semi-final.

'They had to play away against Fulham and away against Charlton. They beat them and that shows you everything.

'Of course they are a team from a lower division but they are a good team, well organised.

'Their coach Paul Lambert has a lot of experience of football at a high level and we know we have to respect them.

'We have a second leg at Stamford Bridge, so if something wrong happens to us tonight we have a game at home to take us to Cardiff. But if we can do it tonight, we'll do it tonight.'

One player who will not be playing against Mourinho's men is Chelsea's on-loan midfielder Anthony Grant.

The 19-year-old has made 31 appearances for Wycombe during his season-long loan, but is ineligible to face Chelsea under the terms of his switch.

Mourinho added: 'I didn't say specifically that Anthony Grant cannot play. It is a policy that Chelsea Football Club players cannot play against Chelsea Football Club.

'It is not just Anthony Grant, it is Jimmy Smith at QPR, it is Glen Johnson at Portsmouth, it is everybody else.

'You can analyse it in two ways. The first thing is purely a Chelsea player playing against Chelsea doesn't smell well.

'The second thing is to protect the player because imagine if the player has a bad game and he belongs to Chelsea. People always think negative about it.

'Can you imagine Wycombe 0 Chelsea 1 - with Anthony Grant scoring an own goal? It is something we have to protect against.

'Anthony must keep his motivation high and improve like he is doing. Wycombe show us that they are a very good club for his improvement and if he keeps going in this way, he will have more chances in his career to play semi-finals.'

Chelsea will face Wycombe without striker Didier Drogba and defender Ricardo Carvalho - leaving Mourinho without a recognised central defender.

England captain John Terry, recovering from keyhole surgery on his back, should return for their Barclays Premiership match against Wigan on Saturday but is not ready for tonight's game.

Instead, Mourinho will depend on right-back Paulo Ferreira and midfielder Michael Essien to hold the defence together.

As well as Terry, Mourinho is also without Joe Cole (foot), Petr Cech (skull), Carlo Cudicini (thigh), Arjen Robben (hamstring) and Khalid Boulahrouz (knee).

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