1 August 2012 11:36
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay is unconcerned by the Blues’ mixed pre-season results.
Gourlay said the superior fitness of MLS players and the extended absence of some stars due to international duty are reasons for Chelsea’s inconsistent form.
Roberto Di Matteo’s team beat Seattle Sounders 4-2 in the first fixture of their pre-season tour of the United States, but have since drawn with Paris Saint-Germain and lost to the MLS All-Stars and AC Milan.
Gourlay, however, shrugged off worries about Chelsea’s displays and said that the squad was focused purely on preparing for the Community Shield and the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
“It’s a question better aimed at Roberto (Di Matteo), but we need to understand that this is pre-season training and we have been getting ourselves ready against teams who are midway through their seasons in Seattle Sounders and the MLS All-Stars, whereas we are just getting there,” he told the club’s official website.
“We’ve had players filtering back into the team, some guys have been with the squad a few days, others only just over a week, so it is very difficult to get things right immediately.
“People expect us to win every game we play, but it can’t always be like that, and in pre-season we have other measures, such as the intensity of training which has been very, very good.
“Results will come, of course the fans always like to see us win, even in pre-season, but more important is that we are ready for the Community Shield and the start of the Barclays Premier League a week later when we play Wigan.”
Gourlay reiterated the Blues’ desire to add to the squad before the start of the season, targeting ‘one or two areas’ for strengthening.
“The situation is that we are still looking to potentially strengthen the side,” he said.
“The manager feels there are maybe one or two areas where we may need to strengthen but that will only happen if we find the right personnel to bring in.
“We are already very strong and have a big squad, but if we feel there are players out there who can strengthen the side in the right position, we will continue to do so but it has to be the right player at the right cost, because both these things are very important.
“However, if we have to go with the pool we have now then we are in a very strong position going into the season.”
Despite suffering a couple of defeats, Gourlay was pleased with how the visit had panned out and felt the fitness gained would stand the club in good stead as the new season approaches.
“Overall I think everything came together well,” he said.
“It is always difficult when you are planning four different cities in two weeks, but everything came together and while one or two people felt the performances weren’t great it’s more about getting the team together and the fitness levels up. I am sure the results will follow, so overall, a very, very good trip.”