League champs Chelsea hungry for more success
Birmingham: Chelsea full-back Paulo Ferreira insists the Premier League champions still have a voracious appetite for success ahead of Saturday’s trip to Aston Villa.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side won the Premier League and FA Cup double for the first time in the club’s history last season, while many of the Blues’ squad also played key roles in the team’s 2005 and 2006 English title triumphs.
Despite the deluge of silverware in recent years, Ferreira, who has won everything but the Champions League in his six-year stay at Chelsea, is confident the team’s burning desire to keep winning will fire the Blues to more success this season.
The west Londoners are already four points clear at the top of the table and Ferreira, 31, underlined Chelsea’s winning mentality as he set his sights on enjoying plenty more title triumphs before he retires.
“My first ambition is to keep winning until the end of my career if possible. I am still in a big club with ambition and I have ambitions as well. I want to win titles until the end and I’ll try to do this,” Ferreira said.
“This season I am enjoying it a lot, working hard and always ready to play if the manager wants. I’ve had chances to play and given 100 percent and tried to help the team.”
Ancelotti has a fitness concern over captain John Terry for the Villa match after the centre-back was forced to miss England’s 0-0 draw against Montenegro on Tueday because of a back problem.
Terry has a history of recovering for club duty just in time for the next fixture but with Alex, a goal-scorer in the 2-0 victory over Arsenal in the last game, currently sidelined as well, Ancelotti knows his defensive options are being stretched.
Frank Lampard, the England midfielder, may miss out again with a groin problem, while Yossi Benayoun is expected to be out for six months because of an Achilles tear.
However, Ancelotti has been boosted by the return from injury of Portugal right-back Jose Bosingwa.
Aston Villa face a period of transition, with former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier having succeeded Martin O’Neill, who walked out on the eve of the new season.
But Houllier’s side are still in a comfortable eighth place and remain unbeaten at Villa Park this term.
Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell, who had a short spell at Chelsea from 2007 to 2008, hopes home advantage will prove decisive.
“At home the fans are great, especially against the big teams,” Sidwell said.
“They really do get behind the players, which is really important because sometimes when it’s 0-0, or if you’re 1-0 down, when you need that extra push, it does come from the fans.
“You do sense that on the pitch. It does drive you on more.”
Marc Albrighton, Villa’s England Under-21 winger, is also looking forward to taking on Chelsea’s England international left-back Ashley Cole.
“I wouldn’t say it’s daunting, it’s exciting more than anything to play against players like Ashley Cole,” he said.
“It will be unbelievable. Every player in that team is a top world-class player, so if you can play well against them, you can play well against anybody.
“It will probably be a full house against the top team in the Premier League at the minute. They’re absolutely flying, so we will be the underdogs, but we will relish that and hopefully get a few points off them.”