Deco insists there is no point wasting time analysing why Chelsea FC are still unsure of their place in the knockout rounds going into Matchday 6. "We just have to go out and win it and then we're through," he stressed.
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Deco insists there is no point wasting time analysing why Chelsea FC have arrived at the final game in Group A still unsure of their place in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds. "All that matters is the next game; we just have to go out and win it and then we're through," he said.
It is an unusual situation for the London club to find themselves in as they prepare to take on CFR 1907 Cluj at Stamford Bridge. Normally the Blues have secured their ticket to the next stage in advance of Matchday 6, but having taken just a single point from their last two fixtures, away games against AS Roma and FC Girondins de Bordeaux, progress is not yet guaranteed. "We have had many problems with injuries but we just have to think about this game," said Deco. "We can talk about what happened in the previous fixtures but this is the important one now."
A win will be enough no matter what happens in the other group match between Roma and Bordeaux. If Chelsea win and Roma do not then Chelsea qualify as group winners for the fifth time in the last six seasons. A draw at Stamford Bridge would also see Chelsea through but only if Bordeaux fail to win. However, they must do it without the services of Frank Lampard, who serves a suspension after he was red-carded in the 1-1 draw in Bordeaux two weeks ago.
'One of the leaders'
It is a significant loss for last season's runners-up because Lampard has set up more goals - four - in the first five games than any other player with the exception of FC Bayern München winger Franck Ribéry, also on four. "It will be difficult to play without Frank," Deco conceded, "because he is a great player and one of the leaders of the team. Of course we'd like him to play but he's out and we have to find a solution to this. The team can still win without him. There is no extra responsibility on me. The responsibility is always the same - to do well."
Deco, who scored in Chelsea's 2-0 win at Bolton Wanderers FC at the weekend to maintain their position one point behind Premier League leaders Liverpool FC, denied that Luiz Felipe Scolari's team had underestimated the challenge from the other three teams in the section. "We didn't think the group would be easy," said the Portugal midfielder, a UEFA Champions League winner in FC Barcelona colours in 2006. "Roma are a great team, Bordeaux are a great team and Cluj won away to Roma. We knew at the start that it was going to be difficult but now we just have to win the last game."