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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 19, 2008

Wilkins relishing working with Scolari at Chelsea

Ray Wilkins has revealed the chance to work alongside Luiz Felipe Scolari helped persuade him to return to Chelsea as their new assistant first-team coach after the departure of Steve Clarke to West Ham United.

The ex-Chelsea midfielder embarks on his second coaching spell with the club, having previously worked under former manager Gianluca Vialli.

Wilkins returns to the game after losing his coaching position with England Under-21s last year following Peter Taylor's exit and Stuart Pearce's subsequent appointment as head coach.

"I was thrilled when Peter Kenyon (Chelsea chief executive) phoned me up and said can I come and meet with him. He asked if I can help Felipe out which is an absolute pleasure - it didn't take too many minutes to make the decision," Wilkins said.

"I have just been learning the different things that Felipe really wants to do. Being Brazilian that means stacks and stacks of possession play and the work ethic is there as well.

"I was on the pitch a lot more as a coach when I was with Gianluca Vialli. I think I will probably be helping Felipe more with the background work, preparing team talks, preparing videos - or should I say DVDs these days.

"So I will be preparing those on set-pieces, how the opposition play, that kind of thing. With the slight language barrier, although Felipe is improving by the minute, it is difficult to sometimes get across what you want to get across, so I think I will be taking on that mantle.

"I'll deal with a little bit of the media as well because it is amazing how tired you can get when you are learning a new language.

"When you are the manager of a big club like Chelsea it is hard enough getting the team in the right shape, let along dealing with everything outside of it."

"There are also plenty of players that don't actually play in the team at the moment and their morale can be quite low.

"It will be good to have a chat with them as well, see where they are coming from and keep their spirits up as much as we possibly can."

Wilkins also admitted the Chelsea of today is a vastly different place from when he was at Stamford Bridge as a player.

He became Chelsea's youngest captain at the age of 18 and was the club's player of the year on two occasions before moving on to Manchester United in 1979 after making 198 appearances and scoring 34 goals.

"You just have to look at the training ground now - Harlington wasn't the best place that Chelsea have trained but we made good with what we had, that is the important thing. Now the financial side is very good and the infrastructure top drawer," he told the club's website.

"When you assess the type of money everybody else has spent since time I was playing here, all Chelsea has done is catch up.

"We didn't have any money to spend and had 10 homegrown players in the side and you don't often get that anywhere. Now it is just Chelsea's time."

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