Tag Archives: confidence

Perri Shakes-Drayton wins gold in 400 metres at the European Indoor Championships

Shakes-Drayton leads GB one-two as she wins 400m gold ahead of team-mate Child

By
Laura Williamson

PUBLISHED:

10:50 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 3 March 2013

Perri Shakes-Drayton won 400-metre European indoor gold in Gothenburg this morning with a scintillating personal best of 50.85 seconds – the fastest time in the world this year.

The 400m hurdles specialist, 24, led at the bell and took gold in emphatic fashion, with fellow Brit and hurdler Eilidh Child setting a new Scottish record of 51.45 secs to win silver. Shana Cox, 28, finished sixth in 53.15 seconds.

Shakes-Drayton said: 'I’m really
happy with that. Everyone had expectations of me getting gold and in my
heart of hearts I wanted gold. To be able to deliver and run a world
lead – I didn’t expect that. I’m going to take that, it gives me
confidence and hopefully I can transfer it over the hurdles.

In a league of her own: Perri Shakes-Drayton celebrates winning the 400m

In a league of her own: Perri Shakes-Drayton celebrates winning the 400m

'I still want to achieve over the
400m hurdles and I haven’t fulfilled my potential so to me I’m still a
400m hurdler and I think that gave me an advantage because I’m used to
running over ten hurdles in a 400m so I’m a lot stronger.'

Child said: 'I’m over the moon, I
knew it would be hard but I was lucky to get a good lane draw after
yesterday’s qualification.

Race to the line: Shakes-Drayton lead fellow Brit Edith Child in the 400m final

Race to the line: Shakes-Drayton lead fellow Brit Edith Child in the 400m final

Crossing the line: Shakes-Drayton wins the 400m final ahead of Eilidh Child in second

Crossing the line: Shakes-Drayton wins the 400m final ahead of Eilidh Child in second

'I knew everybody would be out for me
because I was out in lane six so I thought I would just go out like a
bullet and hopefully get that break.

'Once I saw Perri ahead of me, I just
thought “sit on her shoulder and try and work with her the whole way
round”. I’m delighted that I got a medal.'

Thibaut Courtois thinks he will replace Petr Cech at Chelsea in 2015

Courtois: Give me two years and I'll oust Cech as Chelsea No 1

By
Frank Foster

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 19 February 2013

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UPDATED:

17:28 GMT, 19 February 2013

On-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois believes he will wear the number one jersey at Stamford Bridge in 2015.

With Chelsea's current first choice keeper Petr Cech showing no signs of a dip in form, the statement certainly reveals the confidence of the Belgian international.

Courtios is currently on his second season-long loan at Athletico Madrid and has been in magnificent form since replacing David De Gea at the Vicente Calderon.

Man on a mission: Thibaut Courtois claims he will be ready to replace Petr Cech in 2015

Man on a mission: Thibaut Courtois claims he will be ready to replace Petr Cech in 2015

But the 20-year-old has been reassured by Chelsea that he is not for sale despite their reported interest in Jack Butland in January before his move to Stoke City.

‘Cech is one of the best goalkeepers
in the world, and I think I am an up and coming young talent with the
quality maybe also to play for Chelsea,' Courtois told the Evening Standard.

'They will continue with Cech for two more years, I believe.

Still going strong: Cech was heroic in Cheslea's Champions League final penalty shootout in May

Still going strong: Cech was heroic in Cheslea's Champions League final penalty shootout in May

'The problem is I think that Chelsea didn’t expect me to be at this level this soon. I’ve developed really quickly. It’s a very good situation for Chelsea.'

When quizzed about reports he would be used a makeweight as part of a deal to bring in Colombian striker Ramadel Falcao in the summer, he said: 'A lot of things the press say are nonsense. They are guessing.

'They know Chelsea want Falcao but Chelsea have told me, “The last thing we want to do is sell you”. Maybe they are lying to me but I don’t think so.

Speculation: Courtois believes the prospect of him being used in a deal for Chelsea to sign Ramadel Falcao is pure fiction

Speculation: Courtois believes the prospect of him being used in a deal for Chelsea to sign Ramadel Falcao is pure fiction

'It was strange joining Chelsea but when I signed for them I knew I would be loaned out to a team. They had a five-year plan for me.

'I only went to Chelsea to take my medical. I then went straight to Atletico and had a good year so I preferred to stay for another year.'

Chelsea must now consider how best to manage the young Belgian's development whilst Cech remains at the peak of his powers.

The Czech stopper penned a new contract in May that will keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2016, one year before Courtois plans to oust him as the undisputed first choice.

Aaron Ramsey: It"s taken three years to get over Ryan Shawcross tackle

Ramsey: It's taken me three years to get over THAT tackle by Shawcross

By
Rob Draper

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 16 February 2013

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UPDATED:

03:41 GMT, 17 February 2013

It will soon be three years since Aaron Ramsey was on the receiving end of that tackle from Stoke's Ryan Shawcross, a challenge that broke his leg in a manner which caused onlookers to wince and look away in disgust.

Three long years as far as Ramsey is concerned.

Breaking point: Ramsey tumbles in agony after Shawcross's challenge

Breaking point: Ramsey tumbles in agony after Shawcross's challenge

The unwanted anniversary comes at the
end of this month and although Ramsey was back playing by November
2010, it would be fair to say the injury and the vehemence of the tackle
had a greater effect on the 23-year-old than a mere nine-month absence.

He was on course to be a worldclass
player, his trajectory well ahead of compatriot Gareth Bale, and he
looked to be a potential replacement for Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal.

His comeback season was largely
spent on loan at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff. Last term he recovered
his identity as an Arsenal player.

Only this season has he shown the form that saw him lauded so early in his career.

'It was a really tough thing to go through and I don't wish it upon anybody,' said Ramsey.

'The determination and the
professionalism that you need, all the hours you have to spend in the
gym, it's quite tough. But I've got through that. It's taken me a bit
longer than I would've liked, but I'm happy now where I am, and hoping
to improve and carry on this good form that I'm in.'

His confidence was fractured as well as his leg.

Confidence soaring: Aaron Ramsey's (left) back in form for Arsenal

Confidence soaring: Aaron Ramsey's (left) back in form for Arsenal

'Yes, that's a natural thing,' he
said. 'Confidence is a massive thing and if you're struggling with that
it does reflect in your performances. But I've got that back now. I'm
hungry to keep that shirt and I've proved that with the way I've been
playing of late.

'There has been a good progression
and hopefully I can get back to where I was. That injury did take it out
of me and hopefully that will only have been a minor hiccup when I look
back on my career.'

Bayern Munich in the Champions League will this week provide an acid test, particular after yesterday's exit from the FA Cup.

Ramsey has to establish himself as a guaranteed pick, though 16 starts this season represents progress.

'I'm getting stuck in a lot more,' he
said. 'I'm winning a lot more balls back and reading the game better
and moving the ball quicker, which suit's the way we play. I've had
positive feedback from the boss.'

But he is aware of Arsenal's
eightyear trophy drought – the Champions League represents their last
chance of silverware this season – and of lost opportunities in Europe's
premier competition.

A 4-0 defeat by AC Milan cost them last year despite winning the home leg 3-0.

Before that they could not hold a 2-1 home-leg lead over Barcelona.

He said: 'Hopefully, we can get into a strong position against Bayern in the home leg and we'll be more experienced.'

Brad Gilbert: Even after a four hour bout with Federer, Murray will edge out Djokovic too

Even after a four hour bout with Federer, Murray will edge out Djokovic too

By
Brad Gilbert

PUBLISHED:

01:12 GMT, 26 January 2013

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UPDATED:

09:16 GMT, 26 January 2013

After a four-hour match against Roger Federer, Andy Murray has a day less to prepare for the final than Novak Djokovic. But Andy is a very fit guy, and I’m not sure it makes that much difference.

It is not like the US Open where there is no rest day at all. Djokovic will know he had a cakewalk in the semis against David Ferrer; that will give him a little edge.

He made the world No 4 look like the No 100. He has won this title three times before. It is his most successful major.

Andy Murray has cut down on his tantrums and become far more focused on court

Head in the game: Andy Murray has cut down on his tantrums and become far more focused on court

He has a day less to rest and prepare for the final than Djokovic

Ice bath: He has a day less to rest and prepare for the final than Djokovic

Andy is playing as well as I have ever seen him. His serve is more accurate and heavy than before and his forehand is improved, too.

A few years ago, a lot of Andy’s game was about great defence, amazing movement and his backhand. But watching him against Federer, I was thinking it has been quite some transformation as his serve and forehand were the dominant shots.

He’s much more aggressive now and he’s not relying on defence any more.

He still has that in his locker but he’s much more attacking. It is partly down to confidence. He’s hitting a lot more winners. He served 21 aces against Federer, more than four times as many as the Swiss.

To have served only two double faults in the tournament is incredible. He will need to keep up that level as he is playing the world’s best returner.

Before, he too often was getting only 55 per cent of his first serves in. Now it’s 10 per cent higher. He can be freer on the court and take more risks.

Federer was gracious in defeat and admitted Murray outplayed him and deserved to win

Honest: Federer was gracious in defeat and admitted Murray outplayed him and deserved to win

His attitude is better, too. After that altercation in the fourth set with the umpire, he didn’t lose focus or mutter to his support team. He went and won the fifth instead.

It’s great watching him focusing on his tennis rather than getting distracted during matches.

Unfortunately for Andy, Djokovic does not have a weakness. His serve and forehand are also better than they have ever been.

Murray's serve demolished Federer for most of the match

Weapon: Murray's serve demolished Federer for most of the match

The pair are mirror images of each other and the world’s two best players at the moment. It will come down to who executes the big points best.

What will also be key is who can defend their second serve better. Andy showed resolve in his US Open final win against Djokovic. I’m sure that came from talking to Ivan Lendl about his experiences at the top.

I don’t think you’ll see the same probing rallies as in New York but more attacking, shorter rallies. It will be cool, which slows the court, too.

This match is what we call in American football a 'pick-em' – it's too close to call.

My hunch, though, is that Murray will edge it.

After looking rocking against Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic cruised past David Ferrer

Warning signs: After looking rocking against Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic cruised past David Ferrer

Australian Open 2013: Laura Robson joins Caroline Wozniacki for Stella McCartney adidas promotion

Mirror, mirror… who's the fairest of them all Robson joins Wozniacki and Kirilenko for an unconventional practice Down Under

saw a run of good form for the teenager” class=”blkBorder” />

Hopeful: Robson lost in straight sets to Jelena Jankovic in the first round last year, but 2012 saw a run of good form for the teenager

Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Kirilenko and Laura Robson played tennis in the world's first mirror court for the Adidas by Stella McCartney media launch

Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Kirilenko and Laura Robson played tennis in the world's first mirror court for the Adidas by Stella McCartney media launch

Original: Robson was joined by Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Kirilenko as she played tennis in the world's first mirror court for the Adidas by Stella McCartney media launch

After a brutal first round loss at the hands of Jelena Jankovic last year, the teenager will be keen to prove herself in her tie with France's Benoit Paire.

It should be an evenly matched affair, with Paire ranked only one place below Robson, at 54th.

And the Brit can go into this year's tournament with confidence, having had a sensational 2012 that saw her named WTA Newcomer of the Year.

She reached the Olympic doubles final alongside Andy Murray and took home a silver medal, as well as reaching her first WTA final in Guangzhou.

Paul Wood is to wear a box after rupturing his testicle and has moved in with Holly Henderson

Boxed in: Wood relieved to be back after ruptured testicle but not so happy about his extra protection

By
Ian Laybourn, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:07 GMT, 8 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:10 GMT, 8 January 2013

Warrington forward Paul Wood, who played on in the Grand Final with a ruptured testicle, has decided to take further precaution this season by wearing a box.

Wood was dubbed the toughest athlete in the world after the incident and was back in training within a week of surgery.

He cannot wait to play again and said: 'I had a box fitted but whether I play in it all year I don’t know.

Hard nut: Paul Wood carried on playing in the Grand Final against Leeds after rupturing a testicle

Hard nut: Paul Wood carried on playing in the Grand Final against Leeds after rupturing a testicle

'I’ve tried it out. I prefer not to
play in it but, once I get a bit of confidence, I’ll probably take it
off, especially when it gets warm.'

Warrington head to Tenerife next
week for a warm-weather training camp ahead of their opening Super League match
against Castleford on February 3.

'It will be good to get back on the
field and get some normality back,' he added. 'It’s good when you’ve got
something to focus on throughout the week. You’re a bit lost without
the games.

'Once the season is finished you’re
glad because you can get over your aches and pains but once you’ve had a
couple of weeks off you’re ready to get back into it.

'I can’t wait for the season to
start. I’m out of contract this year and I’d like to sign another
extension and finish my career at Warrington.

'It’s going to be a big year for me. I need to have the best year I’ve had.'

Wood has also had to endure shocking revelations about his personal life since getting injured.

He opened up about his obsessive compulsive disorder in the build-up to the Challenge Cup final last summer.

Wood has found stardom, and with it a new celebrity girlfriend in Holly Henderson

Lovers: Wood has found stardom, and with it a new celebrity girlfriend in Holly Henderson

And the 31-year-old prop hit the headlines last week when he was alleged to have left his wife Shelley and two young children to move in with local celebrity Holly Henderson, who used to date Manchester City footballer Mario Balotelli.

Wood might have been forgiven for keeping a low profile at Warrington's pre-season media day but he was happy to fulfil his duties at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

'I thought I’d face the music,' he said. 'I’ve nothing to hide.

'There’s been some truth in the papers and there’s been some lies as well but I’m not going to broadcast my personal life. I’ll leave it as it is.

'The people who are close to me know exactly what’s gone on and they’re the people that count.'

Wood was a little more forthcoming over the injury that brought him worldwide fame.

The tough-tackling forward played on for 20 minutes after accidentally being kneed in the groin by Leeds centre Kallum Watkins at the start of the second half of the Grand Final.

He made no mention of the injury in post-match interviews but was subsequently taken to hospital for surgery to have the testicle removed and later made light of his misfortune, tweeting: 'Just coming out of hospital to go home … Seriously feel like I’ve left something'.

Wood (left tackler) has always been known as a no-nonsense player

Strongman: Wood (left tackler) has always been known as a no-nonsense player

The tweet soon went viral and, for the first time in a 13-year career at the highest level of domestic rugby league, Wood was a man in demand.

'The reaction was absolutely unbelievable – everyone wanted to talk to me,' he said.

'The weirdest thing was seeing my story come up as a question on The Million Pound Drop with Davina McCall.

'It was good for rugby league. It’s probably had more coverage than anything else over the last few years.

'Someone told me I was among the five best sporting moments of the year in a magazine so again it’s just good for rugby league, that people appreciate how hard the game is.'

Joe Allen believes Liverpool can improve in the Premier League if they can replicate QPR masterclass

Allen believes Liverpool can bring back success to Anfield if they can replicate QPR masterclass

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UPDATED:

16:11 GMT, 31 December 2012

Joe Allen believes there are 'exciting times ahead' for Liverpool if they can start producing performances like yesterday's at QPR on a regular basis.

The Reds dominated at Loftus Road, impressing from start to finish as they romped to a 3-0 victory despite manager Brendan Rodgers' enforced absence.

Luis Suarez struck twice in the opening 16 minutes, before Daniel Agger netted in a first half in which Liverpool completely outplayed the hosts.

Engine: Allen was instrumental in Liverpool comfortable victory at Loftus road

Engine: Allen was instrumental in Liverpool comfortable victory at Loftus road

They tapered off after the break but their level of speed and skill in the opening 45 minutes is something summer signing Allen believes bodes well for the Anfield club.

'That is what we're aiming to do in every game.'

'If we can get that level of performance as consistently as possible then we have some exciting times ahead.

'I am extremely pleased. We had a disappointing result, as everyone knows, away to Stoke so it is always important to bounce back first and foremost with a good performance.

'To score three goals and keep a clean sheet is a massive bonus.

'It was a good team performance but when you've got a player like Luis Suarez that can create and score goals out of nothing, it is a pretty big help.'

As impressive as Liverpool were, there is no doubt QPR let themselves down yesterday.

That, though, is not something Allen is keen to focus on, instead pointing to the performance he and his team-mates produced.

'We like to focus on ourselves,' he said.

'When you come away and get a victory like this, it is obviously a massive boost to our confidence.

'I think we like to take credit maybe for the way we played and making it hard for them.'

The victory was made all the more impressive by the fact they did it without manager Rodgers.

The Reds boss was sent home from London ill, so assistant manager Colin Pascoe and coach Mike Marsh were on the sidelines instead.

Talisman: Suarez tore QPR apart in the first-half on Sunday

Talisman: Suarez tore QPR apart in the first-half on Sunday

'I think when things like this happen it is a bit of a shock,' Allen added.

'It sets you back a little bit but we've got great staff here and people that can step in.

'They can obviously do a great job and as players we are professional enough to get on with things.'

The win moved Liverpool up to ninth in the standings, while QPR's predicament gets worse by the game.

The bottom-place side have now won just one of their 20 Premier League outings this season, leaving them eight points adrift of safety.

Redknapp was quick to talk up QPR's chances of survival after the game, but admits he had to bring on defensive midfielder Shaun Derry for Djibril Cisse at half-time in a bid to protect his side's goal difference.

Subsitute: Colin Pascoe took charge of the team after Brendan Rodgers was sidelined through illness

Subsitute: Colin Pascoe took charge of the team after Brendan Rodgers was sidelined through illness

'In the second half it became a case of damage limitation,' he said.

'You can't be stupid about it.

'What can you do Open up and say you're going to score four goals in the second half against a side like that

'Sometimes you've got to be realistic. No one wants to attack more than I do but when you're up against a team that can cut through you like we were, you have to be realistic.

Reinforcements: Redknapp is targeting new players in the January transfer window including West Ham's Mohamed Diame

Reinforcements: Redknapp is targeting new players in the January transfer window including West Ham's Mohamed Diame

'I thought we had some good movement in the second half and created a couple of good opportunities, played some decent stuff, but it's not easy.'

It is clear that QPR need fresh faces if they are to beat the drop, with Redknapp recently admitting an interest in bringing former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka back to west London.

Reports have also suggested the Rs boss wants to be reunited with Joe Cole, a player he managed at West Ham, although last week he insisted there had been no contact with the Liverpool player.

Today has also seen QPR linked to West Ham's Mohamed Diame, Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila and Marseille's Loic Remy, although persuading them to join the league's bottom-place side may prove a tough task.

Alex Pearce says clean sheets are breeding confidence at Reading

Pearce says clean sheets are breeding confidence at Reading

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 30 December 2012

Reading defender Alex Pearce believes that clean sheets are helping to grow confidence at the club.

The Royals kept back-to-back clean sheets in their previous two matches picking up a point against Swansea on Boxing Day and three against West Ham on Saturday.

It halted a run of seven defeats in a row, has stopped them slipping nine points from safety and lifted them off the foot of the table.

Optimistic mood: Reading's Alex Pearce (centre) says back-to-back clean sheets over the festive period have helped build confidence in the camp

Optimistic mood: Reading's Alex Pearce (centre) says back-to-back clean sheets over the festive period have helped build confidence in the camp

Pearce claims keeping out the league Champions Manchester City for 92 minutes – before Gareth Barry's controversial winner that looked like a foul on Nicky Shorey – helped Reading turn a corner defensively.

The 24-year-old said: 'I certainly think so. We were very good against Man City defensively, very good against Swansea defensively and very good against West Ham defensively and we had that little bit more going forward.

'But we had to get it right at the back first, build from the back and we are doing that and now we are grinding out the wins.'

Decisive strike: Pavel Pogrebnyak scored the winning goal after five minutes to sink West Ham

Decisive strike: Pavel Pogrebnyak scored the winning goal after five minutes to sink West Ham

He added: 'Players and staff want to keep clean sheets and we are happy with the last three games we played. We deserved a clean sheet at Man City, we then got two clean sheets and we are building on that.

'We got a win and we are building on that. We fully believe we can get out of this, everyone has written us off, everyone is saying we are down but inside that dressing room we have a firm belief we will do it.'

Rafael Benitez says Fernando Torres"s return to form is proof Chelsea changes are working

Benitez claims his Chelsea revolution is working now Torres is back in the goals

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UPDATED:

15:31 GMT, 22 December 2012

Rafael Benitez has claimed Fernando Torres's long-awaited return to form is proof that his Chelsea revolution is working.

Almost two years since Torres' record-breaking move from Liverpool and he is finally starting to score the number of goals to justify his 50million price tag.

Six in five games is by far the most sustained run of the 28-year-old's Stamford Bridge career and it has co-incided almost exactly with his reunion with former Anfield boss Benitez.

Back in business: Fernando Torres has been in the goals since Rafa Benitez came in

Back in business: Fernando Torres has been in the goals since Rafa Benitez came in

Chelsea's interim manager immediately identified that Torres had lost some of the physical conditioning that had made him one of the most feared forwards in the world, as well as an obvious lack of confidence from failing to find the back of the net.

'Two or three things that we are doing for some players are really good,” Benitez said, claiming the sharpness in the majority of his players was now 'much better'.

'Fernando is one of the examples.'

He added: 'He's scoring goals and the team is winning and playing well, so he's really happy, not just because he's scoring goals but also because the team's doing well.'

Despite the clear impact Benitez has made on Torres, he played down the extent of his own influence on his fellow Spaniard.

'I think that the team has an influence on him because the team is doing well, so the team is playing better, creating more chances,' he said.

'So Fernando is taking more chances.'

Getting better: Chelsea's manager Rafa Benitez applauds supporters after beating Leeds

Getting better: Chelsea's manager Rafa Benitez applauds supporters after beating Leeds

Benitez refused to speculate on exactly how much his training methods had improved Torres and others during his month in charge ahead of tomorrow's Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

'You can more or less think but imagine I will say to you that they are 90 per cent [fit] and we lose on Sunday, you will say, 'What is going on”' he said.

'[What] if I say 20 per cent and we beat Aston Villa 5-0

'Football is so special that you cannot guarantee 70, 50 or 60.

'What I can say is we have time to bring players in the team and then change players, so we can manage the tiredness a little bit better.'

Indeed, Benitez has rotated his squad far more than predecessor Roberto Di Matteo and he revealed fatigue had been a real concern in the wake of Chelsea's gruelling Club World Cup trip to Japan.

Back where it all began: Cech is looking forward to going back to play Sparta Prague

Back where it all began: Cech is looking forward to going back to play Sparta Prague

So much so in fact that it threatened to derail Benitez's plans for Wednesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final win at Leeds.

'Some players, they were quite tired,' he said.

'The day before, we were training and I was talking with the fitness coach.

'We had three or four that could be a problem.

'We decided to change some players but I didn't want to change too many.'

With no end in sight to their punishing fixture schedule, tiredness is likely to become more of a problem as the season progresses.

That makes reinforcing what is an alarmingly thin squad imperative during the January transfer window.

Reports today suggest Benitez faces a battle to convince Chelsea's board to spend big rather than recalling some of the youngsters the club currently has out on loan.

Inaction is simply not an option, with Daniel Sturridge said to be on the brink of being sold, Oriol Romeu out for the season and John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses set to be missing for up to a month on African Nations Cup duty.

Chelsea's failure to reach the Champions League knockout stage has also left them with two extra potential fixtures in the shape of a Europa League last-32 clash with Sparta Prague.

One player not complaining about a trip to the Czech Republic was goalkeeper Petr Cech, who will return to the club where he made his name.

'It is fantastic for me to be able, after 12 years, to finally play a Czech team in a European competition,' Cech told Chelsea TV.

'Although the ideal scenario was to play them in the Champions League, this is one of the positives from not being able to play in the Champions League now.

'We will try to win the Europa League now and it is great for me to have this experience of going home and playing for Chelsea in Czech Republic.'

Lucas thought career was over after injuries at Liverpool

Liverpool star Lucas feared career could be over after injury nightmare

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UPDATED:

09:12 GMT, 22 December 2012

Lucas Leiva has admitted he feared for his career after missing almost a year through injury.

The Liverpool midfielder damaged his cruciate ligaments in a collision with Chelsea's Juan Mata before suffering a thigh strain just a few games into his comeback.

And the 25-year-old Brazilian was worried his injury nightmare would never end.

All smiles: Lucas Leiva has recovered from his injury nightmare at Liverpool

All smiles: Lucas Leiva has recovered from his injury nightmare at Liverpool

'My first injury was a huge blow, but the second simply left me shattered,' he said in an interview published in Brazil.

'It was hard to take. You couldn’t help questioning if there was something wrong with my body.

'I thought “When is this going to end”.

'It goes without saying that I feared for the consequences for my career.'

Raring to go: Lucas hopes to help Liverpool improve their performances

Raring to go: Lucas hopes to help Liverpool improve their performances

Now fully recovered, Lucas is desperate to play his part in helping Liverpool climb the league.

'It’s a new beginning,' he added. 'After almost a year away, all I can think about is to play as many games as I can and gradually get back into form.

'It will be important for my confidence. I must not rush things but I am really eager to get back, especially after a lot of things changed at the club.'