Carling Cup should mean as much to the players as the Champions League, says Chelsea manager Scolari


Up for the cup: Scolari

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari wants his squad to be hungry for success on all fronts and fighting for starting places in every game, including tonight's clash at Portsmouth.  

While some top-flight managers may use the Carling Cup to rest key players and field youngsters, Scolari will resist changing his entire team for the third-round tie at Fratton Park, with some of his decisions dictated by his injury list.  

Deco and Ricardo Carvalho joined Michael Essien in the treatment room when they sustained injuries at the weekend but rather than protecting the rest of his squad, Scolari wants them demanding to play in every game.  

The Brazilian told Chelsea TV: 'All the games are important to Chelsea - friendly games, league games, Carling Cup, FA Cup, Champions League.  

'I think differently from the other coaches because I think when the players play, it is not a job.  

'It is because they like to play, not only for money and responsibility. The players are more tired than if they play some games and when you ask the players if they want to play this game, they say yes.  

'Sometimes yes, players play 10 games, I need to change for one game, I need to leave out one or two players.

'For the game against Portsmouth, from the team we started against Manchester United, I think four or five players start because I need to change, not because they don't want to play, but because I need to make something different with injuries.

'If I had all the players free for this game, I put all the players to play.' 

Scolari is expecting a reaction from Pompey after they were defeated 6-0 by Manchester City at the weekend.  

'Managers always want a reaction after they lose some games and this one game was a disaster for Portsmouth.  

'It is not normal this result and Portsmouth last season won the FA Cup, they are a very good team, they have big players.  

'We know Portsmouth will play a good game against us, they have big players and they want a reaction, not only the coach.  

'The players want to show the coach and the people that this was one day, a different day in their life. We respect Portsmouth but we want to win.'

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