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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 30, 2009

Wilkins warns of "frustrating days" at the Bridge

Chelsea's assistant first-team coach Ray Wilkins has warned the fans they face more frustrating days at Stamford Bridge as the Blues continue to chase Manchester United at the top of the Premier League.

Chelsea were jeered off at half-time against Middlesbrough after a goalless 45 minutes on Wednesday. They eventually shook off Middlesbrough's stubborn resistance with two second-half goals from Salomon Kalou.

The victory lifted Chelsea into second place, two points behind leaders Manchester United, ahead ofa their crucial visit to third-placed Liverpool on Sunday.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's side will be looking for revenge against Liverpool after the Reds ended Chelsea's 86-match unbeaten home league run earlier in the season.

It will also be a relief for Chelsea's players not to have the home supporters on their backs for once but Wilkins has made it clear to fans that there will be more tough times at Stamford Bridge before the season is over.

''We are still chasing the champions and we have got to keep winning games,'' said Wilkins. ''I think we are going to see more frustrating days at home. Sides will come and put two banks of four in front of us and make it very difficult.

''Our players have the majority of the ball but we just can't break teams down early on. I expect frustration from the crowd and that's what the guys are getting. But it will happen because they are so used to seeing a very fluid type of football with nothing standing in their way.

''But if the crowd can just get behind us, then we won't have a problem. But I do appreciate they will get frustrated at times.''

Meanwhile, the Football Association have confirmed they are to examine video footage of Kalou's 'handcuff' goal celebration.

Kalou struck twice, in the 58th and 81st minutes, and celebrated both goals by crossing his wrists as if wearing handcuffs.

Chelsea swiftly denied there was any political motivation behind Kalou's gesture and insisted he was not showing support for the recently freed Ivory Coast activist Antoine Assale Tiemoko.

But an FA spokesman confirmed: ''We are going to look at the relevant footage.''

Tiemoko was released from a one-year prison sentence last month after being convicted of 'libelling the prosecutor's office' and being in 'contempt of court'.

He was arrested in December 2007 after the country's daily paper, Le Nouveau Reveil, published his opinion piece on judicial corruption. But Kalou denies he even knows Tiemoko.

''People are always going to think there is something in what you do, but it didn't mean anything,'' said Kalou.

''I was just happy. I don't even know the guy - it has nothing to do with football. It wasn't for him, I don't know him so I don't know why I should celebrate for him?''

The FA could decide to ask the player for reasoning behind the gesture but with Kalou having already denied it was politically motivated, then it is unlikely any further action would be taken.

The FA have been quick to clamp down on such gestures with Ipswich's David Norris fined £5,000 last year for making the same gesture in support of former Plymouth team-mate Luke McCormick, who was jailed for seven years and four months after causing the death by dangerous driving of two young brothers.

Everton midfielder Tim Cahill also used a 'handcuff' celebration last March, following his goal against Portsmouth. It was dedicated to his jailed older brother, Sean, who received a six-year sentence for kicking a man during a fight.

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