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Alex aiming high with Chelsea

Published: Tuesday 18 September 2007, 19.29CET
Alex is grateful to have become a first-team regular so early in his Chelsea FC career and hopes to help his side end a barren run when they face Rosenborg BK.
by Trevor Haylett
from London
Alex aiming high with Chelsea
Alex is hoping Chelsea's luck will change against Rosenborg ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

ChelseaRosenborg

Goals scored20
 
6
Attempts on target86
 
24
Attempts off target97
 
32
Corners61
 
26
Offsides50
 
11
Fouls committed217
 
95
Yellow cards17
 
8
Red cards1
 
0
 
Published: Tuesday 18 September 2007, 19.29CET

Alex aiming high with Chelsea

Alex is grateful to have become a first-team regular so early in his Chelsea FC career and hopes to help his side end a barren run when they face Rosenborg BK.

New Chelsea FC defender Alex is surprised he has already been handed first-team responsibilities by manager José Mourinho and thanked the rest of the squad for helping both he and former FC Barcelona right-back Juliano Belletti settle in so quickly.

Quick start
The Brazilian international is likely to make his UEFA Champions League bow for the Stamford Bridge club tonight when they play host to Rosenborg BK in Group B. It is another step in his English education although on this stage he should have no qualms, having pocketed a wealth of experience with PSV Eindhoven. On his introduction to the Premier League, Alex said: "I think it's been quicker than I expected because I've already started two games. All the players have been very helpful to me and to Belletti. It's a good group of players and they have been helpful to both of us and this is helping us adapt."

Mixed feelings
His UEFA Champions League debut for Chelsea will rekindle mixed feelings after his previous two matches in the competition in London put him firmly in the spotlight. Facing Arsenal FC in the opening game of the 2004/05 campaign, it was his own goal that decided the contest. Returning to play the same opponents at Arsenal Stadium in March this year for the first knockout round second leg, he scored past his own goalkeeper again but then made spectacular amends when his 83rd-minute header gave the Dutch side a 1-1 draw and a 2-1 aggregate victory.

Rosenborg experience
He has met Rosenborg before – in that 2004/05 season – and warned: "You have to be very careful and aware of all their players because all of them can be very dangerous. Also, they play a lot of aerial balls and that's what we have to be careful about."

Injuries bite
Alex has come into a Chelsea team feeling the weakening effects of a series of injuries and they have rarely shown their best so far this term. No goals in their last two league outings underline how reliant they are in that department on Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard, who are both absent on Matchday 1. Nevertheless Alex said: "Even if we didn't score, we created a lot of chances. Everybody is doing their best and the team is working together. I'm sure we are going to eventually score goals because we've been creating a lot of chances."

Terry partnership
His role, of course, is to make sure Chelsea limit the opposition to as few opportunities as possible. Playing alongside John Terry can only help his development as a player. "He's given me a lot of confidence. Even though I don't know English, we communicate quite well and I can watch him. I see his positioning in the field is very good. I observe him and he tries to help – he tells me what to do."

Last updated: 18/09/07 19.28CET

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