Makelele relishing Chelsea reunion
|Source: The Hitavada Date: 25 Feb 2017 09:47:57|
SWANSEA City assistant coach Claude Makelele retains fond memories of his successful spell as a Chelsea player but the Frenchman will temporarily sever ties with the London side when his current team face the Premier League leaders on Saturday.
The former Chelsea and France midfielder Makelele spent five years at Stamford Bridge, winning two Premier League titles along with two FA Cups and a League Cup success among his 217 appearances.
“Chelsea gave me a lot in my career. Now I go there not as an enemy, but as an opponent who works for a different club. The fans of Chelsea understand I am on a different side now,” Makelele told the Welsh club’s website (www.swanseacity.net).
“But I can’t and won’t forget my time there. I see two clubs -- Real Madrid and Chelsea -- as my home. I am happy to go ‘home’ on Saturday. But my focus now is with Swansea, and hopefully we will get a good result there.”
Swansea have won four of their last six league games, a run of form which has propelled the club from the depths of the Premier League up to 15th, four points ahead of the bottom three with 13 games remaining.
“It will be a difficult game. To win at that stadium is very difficult -- it’s one of the most difficult places to win in the Premier League,” Makelele added.
“Forget about the table -- that’s the first thing (manager) Paul (Clement) will tell them.”
West Ham’s Carroll remains doubtful for Watford clash
WEST Ham United manager Slaven Bilic will make a late call on whether to include recovering striker Andy Carroll in the squad for Saturday’s Premier League clash against London rivals Watford.
The 28-year-old Carroll, who has scored four goals in his last four games, has been sidelined with a groin injury and missed the 2-2 draw with West Brom at London Stadium on Feb. 11.
“Unfortunately (the injury) is a little bit slower than we expected and hoped for,” Bilic told reporters.
“Regarding the game against Watford, he’ll try to run today (Thursday) and if he’s good then maybe he has a chance to be in the squad for Saturday. I don’t want to rule him out for Watford.
“This is not a big injury but he needs to play, he needs to be available and hopefully he will train tomorrow.”
West Ham are 10th in the table with 32 points, two ahead of 13th placed Watford with 13 games remaining.