Chelsea are ‘disappointed’ in rescheduling of Brighton game – Cech

Jason Soutar
Petr Cech before the UEFA Super Cup final

Petr Cech has revealed that Chelsea are “disappointed” with the rescheduling of their Premier League match against Brighton.

The Blues’ match against Albion was brought forward to Tuesday, January 18 due to their participation in the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.

And the club’s former goalkeeper – and current technical and performance advisor – Cech has insisted the game should have been moved to January 19 to give the players additional rest following their fixture against Manchester City on the preceding Saturday.

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“We are extremely concerned about the welfare of our players in all of this and we are puzzled why Wednesday 19 January was not considered as an alternative date seeing as this would not compromise either team as we both play our next games the following Sunday 23 January,” Cech said on the club’s official website.

He added: “We also find ourselves playing against an opponent in Brighton who, in comparison, only have one other match in the same seven-day period.

“We are already fulfilling fixtures with depleted squads. As it stands, we have fulfilled all of our fixture commitments to date, despite not being able to start our desired starting 11 for some games over this period in which we have been playing two games a week.

“Scheduling us to play three games in seven days means the players’ welfare, fitness and wellbeing will be severely compromised.”

Meanwhile, Hakim Ziyech has revealed the Chelsea squad’s reaction to Romelu Lukaku’s infamous interview and praised the striker’s performance in the win over Spurs.

Lukaku was axed from the Blues’ Premier League clash with Liverpool after holding an interview with Sky Sports Italia in which he said he was “not happy” with his situation at Chelsea.

Asked about how the players treated Lukaku after the interview, Ziyech told Viasport: “The only thing we can do is support him and make him not think about other things, just about the game – and I think that’s what we did the last couple of days.

“Like I said, that’s why we’re teammates, to support each other, and that’s what we did.

“And I think even he was really sharp today and had a good performance.”