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Chelsea out to maul Black Cats

Chelsea 44 minutes ago
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By ESPN Staff
Aug 30, 2008

Scolari philosophical over Robinho deal saga

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari is convinced his side can succeed this season even if Robinho cannot be prised from Real Madrid. The Brazilian, who takes charge of his first London derby tomorrow when Tottenham are the visitors, knows time is running out for the 24-year-old forward to beat the transfer deadline. The former Portugal manager admitted he wanted to sign two more players following the departures of Andriy Shevchenko and Shaun Wright-Phillips and that Robinho had long been his number one target. But he insisted it would not be a disaster should chief executive Peter Kenyon fail to strike a deal for the Brazil international before Tuesday. Scolari said: 'If he's not here, I have my players. He's one more important player - quality, velocity, many things - but I have very, very good players here. 'If Peter doesn't buy Robinho, I have 23 who are here, training and playing. If we want one more player with quality, Peter tries to buy him. If he doesn't come, he doesn't come. I have players for that position, no problem.' Spurs will make the short journey across London in search of their first point of the season, a sharp contrast to Chelsea's 100% record after two games. And the omens were not good for Juande Ramos' side as Scolari boasted an excellent track record in derbies. He said: 'In the past I have 70% wins in derbies - and almost 50% of derbies end as draws. I am different to other coaches. 'But although a derby, for me, is important, points are more important than derbies. I need points to win a Premier League or a Champions League. If I'm thinking only about beating this team because it's a derby, then lose one or two games to other teams, the derby isn't important. 'Three points against Tottenham is the same as three points against Wigan or Portsmouth and I told the players the same thing. If we lose against other teams or drop points against them, we won't win the league. 'We need to be thinking as if all the games are derbies - Carling Cup, FA Cup, Champions League. Cluj, from Romania (Chelsea's future Champions League opponents), is a derby for me. That is my focus.' Scolari, who hopes to have striker Didier Drogba fit again next month, admitted he had injury worries in midfield with Michael Ballack, Michael Essien and Mikel John Obi all lacking fitness.

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